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Molly K

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at University of Southern California (USC)


Neurobiology of feeding behavior


Hello! I am a PhD student studying the neurobiology of feeding behavior at University of Southern California. The decision an organism makes to eat may seem simple, but when you dig a little deeper it turns out to be very complex. How do we decide when to eat, what to eat, where to eat? How does an animal find its food? How does our diet affect our cognition? How does an organism's food history impact its current feeding decisions? These are just some of the questions I ask in my work! Outside of the lab I enjoy hiking, reading novels, and spending time with my dog. No surprise, I also love to try new foods and learn about all the cuisines LA has to offer!

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.

To Eat or Not to Eat

How does the brain orchestrate and carry out the decision to begin a meal? How about to terminate one? Together, we can write a review covering how our brains and bodies guide us through a meal from beginning to end. In this project you will learn to do a comprehensive literature review, go through multiple drafts of writing a review paper, and hopefully learn a lot along the way!

Maternal Diet and Offspring Outcomes

How does a diet in utero affect offspring's health and feeding behavior as adults? This literature review can be as broad or as specific as you want! We can focus on a specific type of diet, or focus on broadly summarizing the research on maternal-fetal interactions related to diet.

Teaching experience

I have been mentoring undergraduates through their first hands-on research experience in neuroscience for years now. This includes teaching basic lab skills, scientific writing and presenting, and applying to fellowships and scholarships.


Work experience

Loyola University Chicago (2019 - 2021)
Research Associate
University of Southern California (2021 - Current)
Research Associate


Loyola University Chicago
BS Bachelor of Science (2020)
University of Southern California (USC)
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Integrative and Evolutionary Biology

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