Mentor: Dr. Mark A. Lewis
College of Medicine
"I fell in love with research in the summer of 2011 and have since searched for every opportunity to further my experience. When I found USP, it seemed the perfect fit for me and my desires. I really want to become a more experienced researcher and understand everything that has to do with it, including the conferences and posters and lab work. Besides succeeding with my personal project, I'd really like to just get a better grasp for research and what it means and really is."
IDS Behavioral Neuroscience
- Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience
- Mortar Board Honor Society Member, 2012 May- current
- College of Medicine University Scholar, 2012 March - current
- Dean's List, 2009 Fall, 2010 Spr.
- Florida Bright Futures Academic Scholars Award, 2009 - current
- National Society of High School Scholars, 2008 - 2009
- Who’s Who Registry of Academic Excellence, 2008 - 2009
- AP Scholar with Honors, 2009
- Duke Student Identification Program (TIP), 2003 - 2004
Research Assistant at Sick Kids Toronto
School Health Interdisciplinary Program (SHIP)
Family Data Center (MCHERDC)
Children's Support Academy
Hobbies and Interests
- Martial Arts
Indirect Basal Ganglia Pathway Mediation of Repetitive Behavior in an Inbred Mouse Strain
Restricted, repetitive behaviors are typically characterized as inflexible, persistent, and apparently functionless. Little is known about their causes; if the neurological basis could be established, then better treatments could be developed and prevention strategies pursued. Using animal models, our lab has found that repetitive behavior in deer mice is linked to imbalanced activity in the pathways of the basal ganglia. Previous research has shown in deer mice that the lower the activation of the indirect pathway the greater the level of stereotypy demonstrated. It would be compelling to demonstrate that the same mechanism of reduced indirect basal ganglia pathway activity applies to the inbred mouse strain C58/J's as well as to deer mice. Using 15 C58s and 15 C57 (control), I will statistically analyze jump frequency counts and cytochrome oxidase staining in the sub-thalamic nucleus of the basal ganglia, to determine if there is in fact a reduced amount of activity in the indirect pathway. Results of this experiment will allow us to generalize about the mechanisms behind repetitive behaviors that are similar in two very different models. This generalized understanding of neurobiological mechanisms will hopefully lead to better treatments for these common symptoms of many developmental, psychiatric, and neurological disorders and diseases.