Polypilot product mascot

Introducing PolyPilot:

Our AI-Powered Mentorship Program

Start your trial today

Learn More
profile picture

Sage M

- Research Program Mentor

MD/PhD candidate at Northwestern University


Medicine, Neuroscience, Drugs & Pharmacology, Chronic Pain, Cellular Molecular Biology


I am in a combined MD/PhD program at Northwestern University in Chicago. I did my first two years of medical school and took my first boards exam, and now am working on my PhD in neuroscience. I study chronic pain and opioid addiction. My fascination with pain started in undergrad, as I see it as an unexplored window into human perception. I intend to go into interventional anesthesia and work as a pain doctor, and continue in research to better understand how chronic pain works and develop better, safer treatments. My current PhD is focused on separating the circuits involved in the rewarding aspects of opioids (the "addictive" component) and the pain-relief component, with an intent to separate out the pain relief from the addiction. I studied neuroscience because people fascinate me. I started in the learning and memory field, although my education is quite broad. In undergrad at NYU I studied HIV-associated dementia and Alzheimer's. I then did a yearlong Fulbright in Norway, where I continued to work on memory and spatial navigation. I also did a lot of cross country skiing and road tripping. I love to adventure, and any of my friends who have invited me to go somewhere know I will show up with nothing but the clothes on my back, ready to walk for hours.

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.

Explaining Dementia to My Grandmother

This project would take a true basic science approach to understanding the neuroscience fundamentals of dementia, from the molecular/cellular biology, to the circuitry involved in learning and memory, and finally culminate in translating all this scientific knowledge to the general public.

Teaching experience

I have been volunteering as a mentor for high school aged students biweekly since 2017 through the PRISM program. This is a partnership program between the Northwestern Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD) and the Pedersen-McCormick Boys & Girls Club of America. We teach topics in science and medicine to high-school aged students from all backgrounds. For the 2020-2021 academic year I was co-chair of the program and will continue to serve in that position for the 2021-22 academic year.


Work experience

PRISM Science & Medicine Outreach Program, collaboration with Boys&Girls Club (2017 - Current)
Mentor, Co-Leader


New York University
BS Bachelor of Science
Neural Science
Northwestern University
MD/PhD Doctor of Medicine and of Philosophy candidate
Medicine, Neuroscience

Completed Projects

Interested in working with expert mentors like Sage?

Apply now