Franklin College of Arts & Sciences: May 2008
Neuroscience PhD Candidate at Vanderbilt University
I double-majored at UGA in both biology and psychology, under the Franklin College of Arts & Sciences and the Honors Program. After taking classes that overlapped between the two majors, I developed an interest in studying neuroscience and the mysteries behind various brain diseases. This led me to apply to various PhD programs in Neuroscience, and I ended up at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN.
After a year of taking interdisciplinary biomedical classes and rotating in different laboratories, I ended up joining Vanderbilt's Neuroscience Graduate Program. I also joined the lab of Michael Aschner, studying the connection between metal toxicity and neurodegeneration, focusing on Parkinson's disease. After qualifying for PhD candidacy, I now have the privilege of performing fun science experiments on a daily basis, as well as writing papers, reviews and book chapters, and attending various conferences around the country. I love the flexibility of being a scientist, and the mysteries associated with trying to discover the unknown answers of science. Vanderbilt does a great job of nurturing and educating their students, as well as giving them the proper training to become successful scientists and/or future educators. Vanderbilt also ranks high nationwide for funding stability. What can beat loving what you do and getting paid to do it, without having to worry about going into debt for school?! Scientists will forever hold job security, as the answers plaguing our society, including neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, remain unknown. With this security, I hope to continue researching the mystery behind Parkinson's disease, with the hopes of one day being able to contribute to the dreams of a cure.