- Area of Study Neurobiology
I received my undergraduate degree in biology from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. I have always loved science, but I wasn’t sure where I wanted to focus, so over the course of my undergrad career, I worked in a chemistry lab, a neurobiology lab and even took a semester to do fieldwork in the rain forest of Australia. After graduating, I also worked for two years in an immunology lab before entering graduate school in the NEURO program in the Biology Department at BU. The study of neurobiology is both fascinating and challenging, as it brings together so many different aspects of biology and research techniques.
I came to BU because there were multiple faculty members doing exciting research, great research facilities, and there is a sense of community among the graduate students. I also liked that the program was very interdisciplinary and would allow me to explore the multiple areas of Neurobiology. I am currently a PhD student working with Dr. Michael Baum and Dr. James Cherry. Our lab is interested in the role of the main and accessory olfactory systems in pheromone detection and the display of courtship behaviors in adult mice. I am using optogenetics to selectively inhibit mitral cell projections from either the accessory olfactory bulb or the main olfactory bulb to the medial amygdala (a critical brain structure for mating behavior) to determine how silencing these projections in female mice impacts both pheromone processing and mating behavior. While at BU, I have been a member of the Biology Graduate Student Association, a graduate student organization that organizes events that encourage the sharing of research though lectures, professional development seminars, and social events for the department. I have also participated in science outreach programs through BU, such as BIOBUGS, where graduate students work with local high school students to expose them to inquiry-based science activities.