• ABOUT ME

    Interested in the neural basis of cognition and evolutionary mechanisms of brain expansion.


    Passionate about research, travel, and food.

    I'm a third-year PhD candidate in Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. I received my BS in Neuroscience and my BA in Latin from Mercer University in May, 2019. At Mercer, I worked in the lab of Dr. Katie Northcutt for three years, studying the neural basis of play behavior in rats. I also had the incredible opportunity to study abroad in both Greece and Sicily as part of my Latin training, thanks to the generous support of the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation..

     

    At Sinai, I'm doing my thesis work in the Rudebeck Lab, where my projects are focused around comparing the nature of interactions between amygdala and frontal cortex across multiple species. I'm interested in the evolution of prefrontal cortex in particular, and how large-scale changes in brain structure throughout evolution might be reflected in both neuroanatomy and neuronal physiology.

     

    When I'm not in the lab, I'm involved in a couple of outreach groups, including MiNDS, where I teach introductory neuroscience courses to middle school students in East Harlem (or, at least I did before COVID; we have done some virtual classes until we're allowed back in person). I am also on the executive board of Project SHORT, an organization that provides pro bono consulting to prospective MD and PhD students from communities traditionally underrepresented in STEM. Outside of science, I enjoy learning to cook new recipes, skateboarding around New York City, and travelling to new places.

  • CURRICULUM VITAE

    Interested in my experience? Get a copy of my CV.
    Feel free to contact me for more info.

  • CONTACT ME

    Email

    Twitter

    LinkedIn

  • RESEARCH TECHNIQUES

    Statistical Programming

    R, Python, Matlab

    Stereotactic Surgery

    NHPs and Rodents

    Structural MRI Analysis

    Injection targeting, projection distances

    RNAseq Analysis

    BioJupies, IPA, gProfiler

    RNA Isolation

    PCR Genotyping

    DNA extraction, gel preparation

    qPCR

    Immunohistochemistry

    Rodent Behavioral Assays

    Locomotor activity, social interactions, three-chamber sociality, inhibitory avoidance

    Transgenic Mouse Lines

    Fmr1 KO, Shank3 KO

  • RESEARCH PROJECTS

    The Primate Amygdala: A comparative analysis of anatomical projections and physiology

    Thesis Project, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

    • Single-neuron resolution neuroanatomy in NHPs and mice

    • Data science project comparing spiking activity across species

    • Electrophysiological recording task in NHPs

     

    Advisor: Dr. Peter Rudebeck, Departments of Neuroscience and Psychiatry

    Neuromatch Academy

    July and August 2020

    • Training in Python programming
    • Complex computational methods including modelling, dimensionality reduction, Bayesian inference, and neural networks/deep learning
    • Group project using open-source Human Connectome Project data

    Mechanisms underlying strain differences in juvenile play behavior

    August 2018 - May 2019, Mercer University

    • Senior Honors Thesis
    • Independently proposed and designed project
    • Trained new students on lab protocols
    • Sectioned brains on microtome, performed immunohistochemistry
    • Assessed neural changes, correlated with behavioral data

     

    Advisor: Dr. Katharine Northcutt, Department of Biology

    Characterizing Mouse Model of Fragile X Syndrome

    Summer 2018, Mercer University College of Pharmacy

    • Designed and executed inhibitory avoidance, c-Fos immunoreactivity experiment
    • Performed behavioral tests, analyzed data using GraphPad
    • Cared for mice, assisted in management of breeding colony
    • Prepared mass-appropriate doses of novel drug compound
    • Genotyped mice using PCR and electrophoresis

    • Assisted in development of autoradiography films

    • Participated in weekly journal and data club meetings

    • Prepared poster summarizing work throughout summer
     

    Advisor: Dr. Clinton Canal, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

    Developmental Hyperserotonemia

    Fall 2016 - July 2018, Mercer University

    • Cared for rats, prepared and administered daily injections to dams to induce ASD-like symptoms in offspring
    • Performed perfusions, sectioned brains, and performed immunohistochemistry
    • Photographed and counted cells in particular brain areas, analyzed data using SPSS
    • Prepared posters and presentations for various audiences
     

    Advisor: Dr. Katharine Northcutt, Department of Biology

    Non-accidental Trauma Screening Protocol

    Summer 2015, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

    • Analyzed patient records to assess effectiveness of screening protocol
    • Collaborated with physicians, research staff, and social workers
    • Participated in research symposium at end of summer
     

    Advisor: Dr. Richard Falcone, Department of Trauma Services

  • PRESENTATIONS

    Below are posters I have presented at various meetings.
    The descriptions below each meeeting are links to the poster or presentation.

    Mechanisms underlying strain differences in juvenile play behavior

    Spring 2019; Macon, GA

    International Congress of Neuroendocrinology

    July 15-18, 2018; Toronto, Ontario

    Society for Neuroscience

    November 11-15, 2017; Washington, DC

    Neuroscience Capstone Seminar

    Spring 2018; Macon, GA