Berean Class Visits Carvelli Lab At FAU Brain Institute

Berean students at the FAU Stiles Nicholson Brain Institute.

Berean Christian School’s anatomy and physiology class recently visited the laboratory of Dr. Lucia Carvelli at the FAU Stiles Nicholson Brain Institute (SNBI) in Jupiter.

The institute recently opened this year, bringing together many neuroscience researchers in one building. Berean alum André Rajoo, a senior lab member at the Carvelli laboratory, planned the tour of the facility and accompanied the class throughout the day. This is the first time since 2019 that students have returned to the Carvelli lab.

The Carvelli lab primarily investigates epigenetics, addiction and the mechanisms of action of amphetamines. C. elegans worms are the model organism used to perform different drug exposure experiments with hopes of finding answers to addiction and the long-term effects of amphetamines. Dr. Tao Ke, a post-doctoral fellow, and Rajoo use different methods to research amphetamine drug use and its effects.

During the day, Rajoo presented to students his recent senior thesis about inhibiting the long-term effects of amphetamine use with a neuroprotective compound. Rajoo guided students throughout the new Stiles Nicholson Brain Institute facility, where students observed the different activities that take place at SNBI. Students were most impressed when observing C. elegans that were genetically modified to fluoresce green fluorescent proteins in the dopaminergic neurons using a fluorescent microscope.

Students were also interested in the tour of the Nikon Microscopy Center of Excellence, which is housed within the new SNBI facility. Students could see and learn about the mechanisms and uses of complex Nikon confocal microscopes used to image deep microscopic details.

After the tour, students enjoyed dining at the Wilkes Honors College dining hall for lunch. One student recently accepted to the FAU Wilkes Honors College was so impressed with the campus that during lunch, she committed to attending and paid the registration deposit to attend the FAU Wilkes Honors College this fall.

By the day’s end, students in the class felt more interested in neuroscience and research. They were happy that they could learn more about cutting-edge research, investigative techniques, equipment and what takes place in the Carvelli lab.

To learn more about the Carvelli laboratory and more about the FAU Stiles Nicholson Brain Institute in Jupiter, visit