My goal as an MD/PhD student and beyond is to become an academic psychiatrist focused on bridging the gap between basic neuroscience research and clinical practice. I first became interested in psychiatry and neuroscience through my work as an emergency medical technician (EMT). After witnessing first hand displays of mesmerizing mania and petrifying psychosis, I was left pondering the hows and whys of aberrant human behavior. This hunger for a mechanistic explanation of such inexplicable events led me to pursue a Neuroscience degree at Muhlenberg College. There I began working in the lab of Dr. Gretchen Gotthard where I investigated the role of de novo protein synthesis in learning and memory. Dr. Gotthard encouraged my scientific curiosity and pushed me to pursue my own research interests.
The last four years of medical and graduate school education at UAB have strengthened my convictions that there is a great need for trainees that are well-versed in both basic science research and clinical psychiatry. My thesis project, in the lab of Dr. Sarah Clinton, focuses on the neural substrates of coping responses and how they may be involved in vulnerability to psychopathology.