In 2010 I earned my bachelors in Psychology with a concentration in neuroscience as the first in my family to attend college. My undergraduate thesis work with Dr. Melissa Glenn centered on the development of a 2-hit model of schizophrenic cognitive impairment, which I found to be attenuated by postnatal dietary choline supplementation. I completed my graduate work at the University of Connecticut working with Dr. James Chrobak, where I earned my M.A. (2013) and my Ph.D (2015) in Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience. My dissertation research focused on parvalbumin (PV), a calcium-binding protein thought to be involved in cognitive impairment seen in schizophrenia, and its modulation by age and NMDA receptor antagonism. This work revealed age-dependent changes in PV expression that were differentially impacted by chronic ketamine administration. Currently, I am a postdoctoral research associate in Dr. Heather Brenhouse's Developmental Neuropsychobiology Lab, where I am exploring the role of early life stress/adversity on acute and long-term neural and behavioral consequences. Specifically, I am characterizing the development of corticolimbic circuitry following early life maternal separation in a rodent model utilizing anterograde axonal tracing and magnetic resonance imaging techniques. I am currently working on a project exploring the impact of early life stress on corticolimbic task-based functional connectivity across development in males and females utilizing a novel and ethologically relevant/translational auditory model of acute anxiety induction. This work is supported by independent NARSAD funding awarded to me through the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.
In addition to my research, I am also a passionate educator and have taught Psychology and Neuroscience courses at the University of Connecticut, MCPHS University, and Northeastern University. Courses I have taught include: Introduction to Psychology (with an emphasis on biobehavioral sciences), Physiological Psychology, Biological Psychology, and Clinical Neuroscience. I have an interest in teaching courses at the intersection of neuroscience and various other disciplines (i.e. arts, law, ethics), and am excited to (in the near future) develop courses such as: Neuroscience & Film, The Science of Deviant Behavior, and [Neuro]Science Ethics. As a first generation college student I am an advocate for underrepresented students in the sciences, particularly first generation students, women, and LGBTQA+ identifying individuals. On any given day you can find me in the classroom, lab, or my home art studio!