Lookin’ at U: Vicki Schaal

Vicki Schaal

Vicki Schaal

Each Thursday, we randomly feature a medical center employee.
This week, we learn more about:

  • Name: Vicki Schaal
  • Hometown: Omaha
  • No. of years at UNMC: One year and 11 months

Tell us a bit about what you do here at UNMC.

I am a research technologist in Dr. Gurudutt Pendyala’s lab in the anesthesiology department here at UNMC. A major emphasis in our lab’s research is understanding neuroinflammation associated with long-term drug abuse at the synapse and subsequent brain dysfunction. Using both in vitro (cell culture) and in vivo (animal) models, we study molecular mechanisms, behavioral attributes including intervention strategies to attenuate synaptic deficits.

“Teamwork” is one of UNMC’s brand values. Tell us about a time you’ve seen the positive effect of teamwork at UNMC.

We have extensive collaborations both within and outside of our department, as well as outside of UNMC. Their assistance allows us to look at different avenues for our hypothesis. Without this teamwork, we could overlook important scientific data. In addition to working with other labs, it allows myself and others in my lab to learn new techniques and systems that we haven’t had the opportunity to learn before.

What is your favorite winter activity?
I am not much of a winter time person. Summer is where I thrive. That being said, for the most part I like to hibernate during the winter. I love watching movies, reading books, and playing video games.

List three things people may not know about you.

  • I have five tattoos.
  • I am a huge Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Steelers fan (I always have my Pittsburgh cup with me).
  • I was able to live a lifelong dream of seeing my favorite animal, an elephant, in its natural habitat last August when I traveled to Kenya with my parents and niece.