What do you do?
My research focused on using selectively bred mice to assess how genes and environmental manipulations interact to affect behavior and the brain. I sought to characterize potential drug-induced alterations to the dorsal striatum, a region analogous to the human caudate–putamen.
Why did you choose this field?
I was always interested in abnormal psychology and different research opportunities in during my undergraduate career led me to researching alcohol, specifically. Addiction touches the lives of millions of individual's each year, including my own family. I wanted to better understand why some individuals are more prone to addiction and how drugs effect both the brain and behavior in individuals that are predisposed to addiction.
What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?
I knew for a long time that I wanted to get a graduate degree in psychology, but I wish my younger self had not be intimidated by the STEM field as that almost kept me from pursuing my degree in neuroscience.
Why do you love working in STEM?
I love that STEM enables continual learning and the opportunity to pursue questions that peak your curiosity. I wake up excited to discuss science and the innovating things researchers are doing in the world that have the ability to change people's lives.
Best advice for next generation?
BE BOLD. Do not let anyone make you feel like you are not smart enough. It's okay not to know the answer, do not let fear stop you from asking questions. The smartest people in the world are constantly learning and there is strength in understanding there is always more to know!
Inspo quote / fun fact / role model
"To be happy you must have taken the measure of your powers, tasted the fruits of your passion, and learned your place in the world" - George Santayana