PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
What is pain?
Despite the seemingly universal nature of pain it is well established that individuals experience very differently. The roles of biological, psychological, and/or social/environmental factors in mediating these individual differences in pain perception and experience is an active and fascinating area of research. Project Ideas: 1) What do we know about biological (genetic, circuit, etc.) factors that influence pain? What are the current gaps in our understanding and how can they potentially be filled? 2) How do gene-environment interactions lead to differences in a painful experiences? Preequistes: Basic understanding of genetics and molecular biology (transcription and translation).
How does the brain process information in health and disease?
Information is stored in the brain from the level of single synapses to multiple brain areas. How this is achieved has been an active area of research for decades. Project idea: 1) How does learning occur in the brain? From the level of electrical activity to molecular events, what is the contemporary explanation of how the brain learns in health and disease? We know many medical conditions are related to learning and memory deficits (Alzheimer's disease), but the mechanisms underlying these impairments are still relatively unknown.
Introduction to Data Science
Data is an increasingly important resource across both public and private sectors. Over the last 20 years, the quantity and quality of data accessible to make informed decisions have increased exponentially. This rise in data availability and quantity has led to a need for professionals who can organize and make meaningful analyses from increasingly large datasets. Given my experience in working with large data sets in the context of biology/neuroscience, I can envision multiple projects where we can work together to identify a big-data question, find appropriate datasets, filter the data set, and work towards making meaningful analyses from this dataset in the context of the questions of interest, and ultimately create deliverables (Github code, peer-reviewed publications, and websites).
How do early life events impact mental health?
We can explore a range of factors that influence mental health in adulthood.