YORK, Pa. — Jessica Petko, assistant professor of biology at Penn State York, will be the featured speaker at a faculty colloquium set for 12:10 p.m. on Wednesday, April 13, in Room 113 of the John J. Romano Administration Building. The event, which is free and open to the public, was originally scheduled earlier in the year but had to be postponed due to inclement weather.
In her presentation, titled “Linking Drug Addiction and Embryonic Development to Common Cellular Pathways,” Petko will describe the evolution of a project that links a well-known developmental pathway to cellular responses elicited by opioid drugs, such as morphine and heroine, in the adult brain. This discovery led to extensive studies in addiction-like behavior in animals and, most recently, endeavors in finding new players in the pathway.
Petko joined the Penn State York faculty in the fall of 2015 and teaches a variety of courses. She earned a doctorate from the Penn State College of Medicine in 2008, with a concentration in genetics, and has a bachelor of science degree in biology and a minor in psychology from California University of Pennsylvania. At the College of Medicine, Petko developed her research on the molecular changes that occur in cells during opioid addiction, and she is continuing her research at York in collaboration with Penn State Hershey Medical Center.