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JoColl B

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at Boston University


Neuroscience, Psychiatrics, Anxiety, PTSD, Endocrinology, Sensory Systems, Anatomy, Down Syndrome, development disorders in animals and humans, media creations and management, blogging health topics, health,


I am studying neuroscience as a Ph.D. candidate at the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM). I studied psychology and neuroscience at East Carolina University for my undergraduate degree. My undergraduate thesis investigated how complex learning affects hippocampal neurogenesis in the Alzheimer’s mouse model. After completing my undergraduate studies, I worked in a cognitive laboratory where I created a 3D model of the dendritic structural differences between young and old rhesus monkeys. During this time, I obtained my Master’s in Anatomy & Neurobiology. While completing my Master’s, I also trained as an Anatomist and became certified in teaching Biomedical Courses. I have always had a passion for teach,ing and I love asking questions about the mind and developing clever ways to answer such questions. So to have the best of both worlds, I regularly teach medical and dental students while conducting research. Regarding my Ph.D. research, I am interested in how stress and trauma manifest into psychiatric disorders. As a Ph.D. candidate, I research how healthy fear states manifest into psychiatric disorders and what neuronal circuits modulate such changes. Specifically, I utilize neuroanatomical techniques, pharmacological intervention, viral constructs for cell-specific manipulation, and whole-brain mapping to answer scientific questions!

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.

From the Stomach to the Mind – Advertisements of Foods Affects our Brains

The gastrointestinal tract (GI) is often called the second brain. The foods we consume have a massive impact on how we feel and think. We are bombarded with constant advertisements in the media, which influence the types of foods we wish to consume. For this project, you will first note the food advertisements you encounter (media, apps, radio, TV, etc.) and create a blog/website that describes how the nutritional value of such foods affects brain activity.

Sensory Overload and Mental Health

The aim of this project will be a complete literature review of the current evidence regarding sensory information of social media apps and the effects it has on mental health. This project will require you to draft a literature review and you will need access to literature sources. The final product will be a complete publishable journal review paper that explains the relationship between social media usage and mental health and disorders.

Coding skills


Teaching experience

1.) I have mentored students in the past who have enrolled in the summer research trainee program (SRTP) at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). 2.) I have taught anatomy and neuroscience to medical students at Boston University School of Medicine. 3.) I was invited to MGH Physician Assistant Program as a Visiting Instructor and taught Neurophysiology.


Work experience

Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (2019 - Current)
Researcher Associate
Boston University School of Medicine (2017 - 2019)
Teaching Fellowship
Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) (2020 - 2020)
Visiting Instructor


East Carolina University
BS Bachelor of Science (2015)
Neuroscience - Alzheimer's Disease
Boston University
MS Master of Science (2018)
Neuroscience - Aging & Cognition
Boston University
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Neuroscience - Fear, Anxiety, PTSD, Endocrinology

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