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Tatiana C

- Research Program Mentor

PhD at University of Virginia, Charlottesville


Biology; Neuroscience; Vagus Nerve; Neural Circuitry


Hello! My name is Tatiana and I'm currently a fellow at the National Institutes of Health and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In graduate school, my research focus was on subtypes of neurons in a region in the hindbrain called the nucleus ambiguus and what these subtypes each individually do to control aspects of vocalization, swallowing, and heart rate control. I also served on various committees for graduate student organizations, attended conferences, and mentored undergraduate students. I loved the variety of experiences that graduate school provided me with and am now working on research projects with a direct clinical application. In my free time, I enjoy running, weightlifting, gardening, and hanging out with my four pet birds. I also love a good social activity. When time and money permit, traveling is something I like to do too.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

The effect of fasting on vagal nerve activity

Fasting (i.e. intermittent fasting) has been shown to have many beneficial outcomes for one's health, one of which is a reduction of inflammation. The vagus nerve has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. How does fasting reduce inflammation in the body? Is there a connection between fasting and increased vagus nerve activity?

Teaching experience

During my undergraduate studies, I was a teaching assistant for Organic Chemistry and Advanced Biochemistry labs. I also occasionally tutored elementary students. During my graduate studies, I mentored four undergraduate students, working together with them to develop and progress in their own independent research projects. Collectively, four research fellowships were awarded to these students during my time mentoring them and one manuscript is currently in preparation with their research contributions included.


Work experience

National Institutes of Health (2022 - Current)
Clinical Fellow
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2024 - Current)
Postdoctoral Fellow


Hillsdale College
BS Bachelor of Science (2017)
University of Virginia, Charlottesville
MS Master of Science (2019)
Biological & Physical Sciences
University of Virginia, Charlottesville
PhD Doctor of Philosophy (2022)
Biological & Physical Sciences

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