CWU News

CWU Museum of Culture & Environment event to highlight Dr. Carnell’s research

Graphic for museum exhibit

Dr. Lucinda Carnell's research will be on display at the CWU Museum of Culture & Environment beginning Tuesday, February 28, with a 5:30 p.m. presentation.

The CWU Museum of Culture and Environment (MCE) will kick off its newest exhibit Tuesday, February 28, with a reception in Dean Hall at 5:30 p.m.

The event marks the opening of the MCE’s exhibit, “Window on Central”— Animal Model: How a Tiny Worm Helps Us Understand the Human Brain. “Window on Central” exhibits are a special part of the museum that highlights ongoing research within the College of the Sciences. 

Dr. Lucinda Carnell, a longtime CWU Biological Sciences professor and soon-to-be interim Vice President for the Office of Inclusivity and Diversity, will be introducing her research titled “An inkling for the organism: A journey of biological discovery using a worm, C. elegans.”

Dr. Carnell has spent much of her career working with a microscopic worm called C. elegans—a tiny creature that may seem simple, with only 959 cells and 302 neurons. She and other researchers—many of them CWU students—have helped make wondrous discoveries that show how organisms (including humans) operate.

Dr. Carnell's microscope is named "Eleanor"During the presentation, Dr. Carnell will share the story of her journey of co-discovery with CWU students, as they worked together to identify the genetic basis for different aspects of behavior, from the links between diet and diabetes, to serotonin and depression, environmental toxins and neural degeneration, and sensation in response to electrical fields and touch.

Based on Dr. Carnell’s research, this “Window on Central” exhibit shows how C. elegans is used as an “animal model,” a proxy for the human brain. Visitors to the exhibit will learn about why C. elegans has been so important to neuroscience research—and how some of this research happens here at Central.

For more information about the Animal Model exhibit or Tuesday’s event, visit the MCE’s website, or call 509-963-2313. The museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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