After graduating from Duke with a double major in Biomedical Engineering and Psychology I worked for three years in the healthcare sector of a financial services firm before deciding to go back into research. I then attended graduate school at The University of Texas at Austin where I received my PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience studying the neural mechanisms of socially transmitted fear in rats. I currently work a post-doctoral fellow at OHSU in Portland, OR researching the neurobiological function of sleep in the development of social cognition in the prairie vole.
How has being a P&N graduate helped shape your professional success?
I was lucky to work as an undergraduate research assistant in a couple of Psychology & Neuroscience department research labs despite the fact that Psychology was a second major that I didn’t pursue until my junior year of college. I took Dr. Beth Marsh's Introduction to Human Memory course which dramatically shifted my academic interests towards the research topics I pursue today. Once I expressed an interest in psychological research, Dr. Marsh hired me as an undergraduate assistant where I began to learn the ins and outs of human research on neurocognition. I found the research faculty at Duke to be very open to providing hands on experience to undergraduate students in a way that develops practical research skills. That experience helped me secure two summer internships at the NIH during my undergraduate studies and, later, my admission to graduate school.