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Katie C

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley)


Neuroscience, neurobiology, neurological disease/disorder


I'm Katie, a 5th year graduate student in the Neuroscience PhD program at UC Berkeley. I study mouse models of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) - in particular, the way that disruption to a brain region called the basal ganglia may be central to the movement-related symptoms that are a hallmark of ASD diagnoses. The basal ganglia is a group of structures that is involved in motor planning, motor movement and motor habits, so we think dysfunction there might be involved in the restricted, repetitive behaviors that are seen in ASD! I work with mice that have a single ASD-risk gene mutation, and assess their behavior and the way that their neurons function within the basal ganglia. In my free time, I love to stay active with yoga, rollerskating and spin class. I have a weekly movie night with my friends, and love watching movies generally - I especially love horror movies! I also like to play board games and card games, and try to eat new and interesting foods whenever the opportunity arises. I've been doing neuroscience research for about 8 years now - I used to study how brain regions involved in reward are shaped by cocaine addiction in rats, and how the olfactory system (which controls your sense of smell) can be so precise and complex in something as small as a fruit fly! I love the brain and am excited to help others in their journey to learn more about it, as well.

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.

Commentary on Recently Published Work

Student will write a commentary on a recently published primary literature journal article, summarizing both the major findings of a paper, and the current context and state of the field that the results fit within.

Mini-grant Proposal in Poster Form

Using an academic-style poster format, the student will create a mini-grant proposal. This will involve giving background that inspires a research project idea, creating visuals that outline how to carry out that research project, and what the expected results may be.

Teaching experience

During my PhD program at UC Berkeley I have been a graduate student instructor for 2 undergraduate courses (Cell & Molecular Neurobiology & Neurobiology of Disease). In addition, I have personally mentored 2 undergraduate students through their honors theses, completed in the Bateup lab here at Berkeley, and am currently mentoring a junior graduate student student during her 10-week rotation in the lab.


Work experience

Columbia University (2016 - 2018)
Research Technician


University of Colorado at Boulder
BA Bachelor of Arts (2015)
Neuroscience (minor in Philosophy)
University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley)
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate

Completed Projects

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