It's getting hot in Phoenix already! Pool time this weekend!
University of Alaska Anchorage 2005-2009, Arizona State University 2010-2015
I am a trained behaviorist, molecular biologist, and neuropharmacologist. I am currently being trained in neuroimaging and neurogenetics.
The Translational Genomics Research Institute
Favourite thing to do in my job: I love to figure out ways to heal people and understand what leads to mental illness. I enjoy mentoring, teaching, analyze data, and writing manuscripts!
I scan brains, manipulate genes, and measure behavior all to figure out how it is that we are who we are!
During my Behavioral Neuroscience doctoral program, I was trained in models of psychiatric disorders and basic molecular biological methods such as brain tissue preparation, protein labeling, neuron labeling, protein analysis, gene analysis, and gene manipulation. After graduation, I spent a year at the University of Zurich Psychiatric Hospital learning about neuroimaging and the unique intricacies of pre-clinical psychedelic research such as set, setting, dose, medical supervision, and applicable psychometric tools. I am currently learning how to leverage genomics methods in combination with behavior and physiology to better understand and predict developmental psychopathological risk trajectories such as stress physiology, sleep, and cognition in a twin-family design. Through my current project, I am learning developmental psychopathology, biopsychosocial, and next-generation genomics research methods. Moreover, I attend Responsible Conduct of Research trainings, neuroscience talks, and grant writing workshops. I also love teaching people about neuroscience! I teach children all the way up to college students.
My Typical Day
All of my days are different! The many things my days can be filled with are giving talks, teaching class, analysing data, reading, writing, creating graphs, meetings, and mentoring.
I have no typical days! So I will walk you through many different types of days. Sometimes I work from home to concentrate on writing. I like these days because I get to wear my PJs and sit by my big windows. Two days a week I teach a college level course on neuroscience – I love my students! We usually start class off by people sharing the fun things they did over the weekend. There are other days in which I am in a lot of meetings. I meet with other scientists to plan experiments and update each other about the progress of existing projects. Some days I spend all day reading about the most up to date literature about neuroscience, genetics, and behavior.
What I'd do with the prize money
I would fund the cost of a bus to get kids to the Brain Fair.
We run Brain Fairs at Arizona State University for children of all ages. It is a really fun day where they get to learn about the brain by doing a lot of activities. Sometimes, schools want to come but cannot find the money it costs to rent a bus and bring the children. I would use this money to help a school bring the students to Brain Fair.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Adventurous, Tenacious, and Fun
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Teaching people about how to lead happy and healthy lives.
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
Neuroscience inspired me. The brain is the most complex system known and I wanted to be a part of exploring it. The human brain is the truly the most exciting place explore.
What was your favourite subject at school?
I really did like them all! Learning is fun when it is about learning and not mesmorizing.
What did you want to be after you left school?
I wanted to be a lot of things – a veterinarian, a teacher, a psychologist, just to name a few. I found that being a scientist I get to be a lot of things! I am a teacher, a mentor, a writer, a speaker, and a neuroscientist.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Yeah – I had a couple of years when I liked to push boundaries.
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
A traveling vagabond.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
Pizza and Tacos, I cannot choose one!
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Hiked all the way across Switzerland. It was 270 miles and amazingly beautiful.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1. Meet everyone (including myself) with understanding and compassion. 2. Find a way to help people heal. 3. Travel the world.
Tell us a joke.
What did the hippocampus say during its retirement speech? “Thanks for the memories.”