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Kevin G

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at Stanford University

Expertise

Neuroscience, Genetics, Biology, Neurodegenerative Disease

Bio

I am a neuroscientist finishing my PhD at Stanford University studying neurodegenerative disease. Specifically, I have been studying how the non-neuronal cells of the brain (that's right, there are a bunch of cells other than neurons in the brain!) may influence the death of neurons and how we can use knowledge of these pathways to develop new treatments for diseases like Alzheimer's Disease and ALS. Before entering my PhD program, I obtained degrees in Neuroscience and Mathematics at Pomona College, a small liberal arts school in California. There, I studied how the nervous system initially forms in Drosophila (fruit flies) using biochemistry as well as mathematical modeling. When not doing research, my hobbies include rock climbing, ice cream making, woodworking, 3d printing, and virtual reality. Some would argue that that is too many hobbies, but they are just working too hard :)

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.

Why do neurons die?

The death of neurons causes a huge array of terrible diseases including Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, Huntington's Disease, and ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and is a primary pathology in stroke and traumatic brain injury. So why are neurons so susceptible to dying? And why is the nervous system so hard to fix after injury? In this project, you will explore the literature to better understand what makes neurons so fragile and what we can do about it!

No brain is an island

The brain is responsible for all of our thoughts, feelings, and actions - in fact, it's basically who we are! But the brain doesn't operate on it's own. It interacts with other systems like the immune system and the bacteria in our gut, raising the question of how these other systems might influence our cognition or our susceptibility for neurodegenerative diseases. In this project, you will explore the ways that the nervous system interacts with the rest of the body and the environment.

How virtual is virtual reality?

Virtual reality uses an amazingly simple principle - matching the movements of your head or hands with movements on a screen - to trick your brain and do an impressive job convincing you that a digital scene is real. So why is your brain so easily tricked by virtual reality? And how can we use this to better understand how the brain works? In this project, you will explore the science behind vision and cognition to better understand the scientific basis of technologies such as virtual reality and explore how scientists are using virtual reality to better understand how the brain works.

Languages I know

Limited chinese and sign language

Teaching experience

I co-founded and taught a course on Glia and Neuroimmunology at Stanford University (Nbio 224) for advanced undergraduate and graduate students. I have also taught students ranging from middle school to graduate level through programs at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Stanford student programs, Pomona College class and lab courses, and "Brain Day" outreach programs.

Credentials

Work experience

Longitude Capital (2020 - Current)
Research Fellow

Education

Pomona College
BA Bachelor of Arts (2014)
Neuroscience and Mathematics
Stanford University
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Neuroscience

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