In the Sammut lab, we are interested in utilizing animal models to investigate various perinatal behaviors, as well as the various physiological and neurophysiological changes underlying such behaviors.
Our projects include:
Abortion Study: The goal of this study is to investigate, in depth, the potential consequences of terminating a pregnancy, using mifepristone (RU-486) and misoprostol, in an animal model. In addition to investigating the resulting behaviors, the research also seeks to use techniques that can shed light on the changes within the brain that could ultimately affect behavior. This research is conducted using electrophysiological and electrochemical techniques. It is ultimately hoped that this basic research will provide insight into the much needed information pertaining to the effects of drug-induced abortion on behavior.
Ectopic Pregnancy Transfer Procedure Study: (Temporarily on hold due to funding constraints.) The goal of this study is to investigate the potential for the development of a surgical technique to transfer an implanted embryo/fetus in the case of an ectopic pregnancy. As there is no standard medical procedure that would allow for this to take place, this basic research seeks to provide the foundation for a technique that could potentially be translated and applied to humans.
Human Psychopathology & Well-being: The goal of this research is to investigate various factors and behaviors that may be associated with the observed negative mental health reported among college students. It is our hope that such research will provide insight into the potential variables that may be contributing to the observed decline in mental health, specifically among college students. Additionally, this research may aid universities and counseling centers in better addressing the mental health issues observed in the students they serve.