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Laura P

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at Dartmouth College

Expertise

Neuroscience, Neurodegenerative diseases, Psychology, Cancer biology, Cancer therapeutics, Cellular & Molecular Biology, Scientific communication

Bio

I am a fourth-year PhD student in the Program in Experimental and Molecular Medicine at Dartmouth College. My thesis research focuses on using combination therapy to sensitize brain tumor cells to radiation in pediatric brain cancer, with the ultimate goal of minimizing the toxic effects of radiation in children. In undergrad my research ranged from learning and behavior studies in mice, to recording action potentials from individual neurons in crayfish, to studying the effect of an opioid antagonist naloxone on sexual conditioning in Japanese quail. Outside of research, I love to take time to enjoy the outdoors. In the summer I can frequently be found camping, kayaking, hiking, swimming, golfing, and enjoying all that New England has to offer. In the winter I love skiing, snow tubing, and escaping the cold by baking and reading.

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.

Finding a Better Approach to Treating Brain Cancer

Brain and nervous system cancers are the 10th leading cause of death with over 18,600 adults projected to die this year alone. Even with the current treatment options, the overall five-year survival for people with a central nervous system tumor is only 36%. In this project we can learn about: - The multiple different types of brain cancers and how/why their prognosis and survival rates differ - The challenges we face in treating brain cancer - The current standard of care treatment for patients with brain tumors - New therapeutics that are emerging and what aspects of the current standard of care could we improve on

Biomechanics of Concussions

Each year between 1.7 and 3.0 million sports or recreation related concussions occur. More strikingly 2 in 10 high school athletes that play contact sports will get a concussion, and 5 in 10 concussions go unreported or undetected. In this project we can learn: - The biomechanics underlying concussions - The timeline of effects within the brain following a concussion - The long lasting impact of a single mild traumatic brain injury - Ways which we can improve athlete’s knowledge of how to prevent a concussion and what to do and expect when recovering from a concussion

Coding skills

Python, R

Languages I know

Spanish, Chinese

Teaching experience

Throughout high school and college, I tutored high school students and helped them study and prepare for the New York State regents examinations. In graduate school I have acted as a student mentor for incoming first year PhD students, as well as for undergraduate students interested in pursuing higher education.

Credentials

Education

Vassar College
BA Bachelor of Arts (2019)
Neuroscience and Behavior and Chinese with a minor in biology
Dartmouth College
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Experimental and Molecular Medicine

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