What sparked your interest in science?
Initially, high-school physics got me interested in the scientific process. I started studying neuroscience in college, and it always felt like the wild-west of science. It still feels relatively far behind the other molecular and cellular biology fields. There's a whole lot of frontier to explore!
What attracted you to UC Berkeley?
The scientific atmosphere is far more open than any other location I've been - the faculty are very approachable and willing to lend advice. Also the west coast winters are a trillion times better than the east coast.
What are you currently working on in the lab?
I'm working on defining sub-populations of dopamine neurons to better understand one - the various roles dopamine plays in modulating different behaviors and two -how some dopamine neurons are susceptible to disease, and others are resistant.
Describe your ultimate dream/goal for your future.
I would love to be a research professor at small institution and develop an undergraduate molecular neuroscience curriculum.
When I'm not in the lab, I can be found...
Running in the hills! Or eating cereal. Not usually at the same time though.
If you could go back in time and give yourself a piece of advice during your first year in graduate school, what would you say?
Always label your tubes. There's just never a reason not to.