NAD Fellow year: 2024

Mie Gunni Kolmos

MSc in Neuroscience, University of Copenhagen

Lab rotations - pre-PhD year

Lab Rotation 1

Gether Lab, Department of Neuroscience, University of Copenhagen w/PI Professor Ulrik Gether

During her first rotation, Mie will familiarise herself with fiber photometric recording of striatal dopamine during behavioural testing on Syt1-KO mice. Synaptotagmin 1 (Syt1) has been shown to be involved in synchronous release of dopamine in brain slice preparations. Now, using in vivo recordings of striatal dopamine during a rodent continuous performance test (rCPT), Mie will help collect and analyse data to investigate the role of Syt1 in reward-based learning and attention.

Lab Rotation 2

Meehan Lab, Department of Neuroscience, University of Copenhagen w/PI Associate Professor Claire Meehan

During her second rotation, Mie is learning different approaches to probe neuronal excitability in mouse models of the neurodegenerative diseases Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontal Temporal Dementia. Mie has been gaining experience performing in vivo intracellular recording from mice with a genetic risk factor for both diseases. She is using this to explore how aging interacts with genetics to increase the disease risk. She is combining this with anatomical methods to investigate potential cellular mechanisms underlying the observed changes.

Lab Rotation 3

Radulovic Group, Department of Biomedicine, University of Copenhagen w/PI Professor Jelena Radulovic

Meet Mie Gunni Kolmos

Mie Gunni Kolmos has always been interested in how and why we think and feel as we do, but her way into neuroscience has not been straightforward.

Mie Gunni Kolmos obtained her master’s degree in Neuroscience from the University of Copenhagen in 2023, completing her master’s thesis in the Kornum Lab at the Department of Neuroscience. Since then, she has been working as a research assistant in the Nedergaard Lab at Center for Translational Neuromedicine at the University of Copenhagen. During her time in both labs, Mie’s work has been focused on sleep and fatigue, with her master’s thesis investigating how sleep disturbances can lead to depressive behavior in adolescents.

The interest that lead Mie into neuroscience, however, is a little more general:

“My fundamental – and quite broad – interest is to correlate behavior with biological or molecular targets to gain an understanding of what happens in the brain when we think and feel”, Mie explains.

Growing up, Mie dreamt of becoming a therapist, both to explore her interest in how and why we think and feel as we do and because she was interested in helping people suffering from psychiatric conditions like depression and stress. During a high school lecture in psychology, Mie realized how much our biology is affected by and affects us in psychiatric conditions. This realisation sparked her interest in the brain-body interactions involved in psychiatric conditions.

Being a language major in high school, Mie had to take up several subjects after finishing school to meet the requirements of studying a natural sciences degree. After a short stint in nursing school – with the goal of becoming a psychiatric nurse – Mie came to realise that her natural strengths were not as much within clinical interactions as they were within the systematic and creative thinking required in research:

“Neuroscience is perfect for me because it combines my interest and passion with something that plays to my strengths”, Mie explains. She also highlights the translational and clinical perspectives of basic neuroscience as a way of contributing to treatment of psychiatric conditions.

During the pre-PhD year, Mie wants to step out of her comfort zone and explore different research areas and techniques:

“I would like to use my rotations to explore the fundamental interest that led me into neuroscience in the first place and challenge whether I should continue within sleep research or if I should move into a different field (…) The pre-PhD year is a really unique opportunity to try out different approaches. In addition, the NAD programme gives you an opportunity to have complete ownership of your project. In that way, it allows you to follow and fulfill your dreams”, she says.

Mie will do her first rotation at the Gether Lab at the Department of Neuroscience, University of Copenhagen where she will focus on the dopamine system.