Hi there! I am post doctoral neuroscientist and poet currently working at Carnegie Mellon University with Professor Aryn Gittis. I recently received an F32 fellowship to continue my research in that lab. I received my Ph.D. at University of California, Berkeley with Professor Dan Feldman. As a Ph.D. student I studied brain plasticity and developed a virtual reality system for studying how the somatosensory cortex represents tactile shapes. I have also enjoyed contributing to open source projects like the ones featured on this blog. For example, the DIY lickometer project we described has now been cited in peer reviewed literature and has been accessed by many fellow scientists:
As a post doc, I have begun studying basal ganglia in disease states and in health. I am particularly interested in how the indirect pathway of striatum controls both actions and associations in behaving animals. I am currently working on ways to optogenetically manipulate specific cells of the globus pallidus externus (GPe) while measuring rodent behavior in a variety of tasks.
When I’m not in the lab, I might be going for a run or breaking apart old tape players, keyboards and music equipment to find strange sounds. I have been observed teaching my computer to pronounce the word “chicken” using neural networks (it worked, mostly). I love to code and create electronic gadgets from Arduinos or re-purposed gizmos. And of course, I am a neuroscientist poet, so I do enjoy writing the occasional poem. Here is a short interview I did with my program discussing my project and my time in the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute.
Feel free to contact me about my work or point me in exciting directions that combine these interests!