My work with the Bock and Svoboda labs will be to better understand the detailed network connectivity between a focal region of mouse barrel cortex (a section of primary somatosensory cortex; S1) and primary motor cortex (M1) through a combination of high-resolution light microscopy and serial section transmission electron microscopy (ssTEM). Through fluorescent and EM labeling of M1 motor neurons driving movement of the mystacial pad, the axons that connect to the barrel cortex will be followed by light microscopy of prepared slices. Relevant neurites will be precisely relocated by electron microscopic analysis of serial subsections of the light imaged slices. These projections will be manually reconstructed to create a detailed map of the presynaptic M1 projections and their postsynaptic S1 partners at the cellular level. The resultant connectivity map will provide a basis for examining whether connectivity from M1 to S1 is random, or if a defined subpopulation of neurons preferentially receives synaptic input from M1, allowing for correlation with functional studies of the same neurons.
I received a B.S. in Neuroscience and Biology from Brandeis University in 2010 where I worked in the Paradis Lab studying the regulation of glutamatergic synaptogenesis by ubiquitination. I am currently pursuing an M.D. at Tufts University School of Medicine, expected in 2015, but have come to Janelia in the midst of my studies to further my understanding of neuronal networks. In my spare time, I enjoy marathon running, cooking and computer games. In addition, I am a type 1 diabetic and have been working with diabetic teenagers at Camp Conrad-Chinnock each summer.