Making Physiology Happen

Innovative Teaching Lab Contest

Innovative Teaching Lab Contest

Innovative Lab Contest Winner

We are pleased to announce the winner of iWorx Innovative Lab Contest, May 2015.

Tracy Hodgson, Assistant Professor of Instruction
Northwestern University


Drosophila Electroretinogram (ERG)


Using simple extracellular recording electrodes (a thread wick on the surface of the eye, and a broken intracellular pipet electrode inserted into the fly’s thorax for the ground), students recorded electroretinograms (ERGs) from unanesthetized, restrained Drosophila.

Students examined the spectral sensitivity of the ERG with color filters, and recorded the ERGs of wild type and mutant flies (white and orange eye) to observe any changes in the receptor and synaptic potentials underlying the ERG that were affected by the presence or absence of screening pigments.

About the Winner

Tracy HodgsonTracy is an Assistant Professor of Instruction at Northwestern University. She has been at NU since 2001, teaching physiology and neurobiology lecture and laboratory courses. She received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Wayne State University in Detroit (her home town), and a  Ph.D. in physiology and neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. For her doctoral dissertation she studied learning and memory in the invertebrate model Hermissenda (a type of sea snail called a nudibranch).



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