Nhu Phan



PhD. Student University of Gothenburg

Supervisor Dr John Fletcher


2008 Master of Science in Analytical Chemistry, University of Science-Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam

1. Study on the neurotransmitters and the effect of drugs (methylphenidate, cocaine) in the brains of Drosophila Melanogaster (fruit flies). The fruit flies is now widely used as an attractive model in neuroscience because they have several attractive characteristics: complete genome sequence, biogenic amines similar to human, suitable for statistical studies, similar behaviors to human for example alcohol tolerance, drug addition, learning and memory.In the project, I use CE-MS to quantifyneurochemical changes such as concentration of dopamine, metabolites, GABA, and glutamate in fruit fly’ brains when the flies are orally administrated with different drug doses. The result will provide more thorough understanding of the correlation between neurotransmitter level and drug dose and the neurotransmission inhibition of Methylphenidate and Cocaine in the neurosystem.
2. Mapping of neurotransmitters and drugs in fly’s brains by imaging MS. Together with CE-MS, experiments with TOF-SIMS will be carried out in order to track the spatial distribution of biogenic amines and the drugs to know disturbances of drugs in different regions of the fly’s brain.The flies undergo different oral administrations with drugs as used for CE-MS analysis. Neurotransmitters and drugs in the fly’s brains are then probed with LMIG Bi3+. Depth profile of these analytes can be made by using C60+ gun.To facilitate the SIMS analysis, I also examine the sample preparation which can be the freeze-drying technique.
3. Examination of local changes of proteins and phospholipids in membrane of PC12 during exocytosis with MALDI and SIMS. Several studies showed the critical role of phospholipids (PC, PE, and PS) in modulating the exocytosis process in cells. Some authors suspected that phospholipid-protein interaction may involve the mechanism. Therefore, I’m interested in examining the changes in the contents of phospholipids together with proteins at cell’s membrane during the period of exocytosis. The effects of individual different exogenous phospholipids or proteins on the cell fusion will also be considered.

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