2021 INSTITUTE GRADUATE NEUROSCIENCE TRAINING PROGRAM SCHOLARS

Kylie Kealoha Foster
Kylie Kealoha Foster

Entered: Graduate Neuroscience Training Program 2021
Integrative Biology/Neuroscience
Mentor: Unassigned

Lab Rotation: Larry Toll, Ph.D.
Lab Rotation: Randy Blakely, Ph.D.
Lab Rotation: Lucia Carvelli, Ph.D.
kyliefoster2021@fau.edu

BA Psychology, California State University, Long Beach, CA

 

“As an undergraduate, I majored in Psychology and conducted research in Community Psychology and Neuropsychology at California State University, Long Beach. I am particularly interested in the epigenetics of families who experience generational cycles of substance abuse, specifically alcoholism. Although my research focus at FAU will be the underlying biomechanisms of alcoholism, I believe in holistic solutions to issues which include both quantitative and qualitative investigation. My overall goal is to contribute to substance abuse prevention, intervention, and recovery.

 

I was drawn to GTNP because there are a multitude of labs that emphasize interdisciplinary and collaborative research. I am looking forward to working with the faculty at the Brain Institute, along with the researchers at Scripps and Max Planck. I was also impressed by the level of involvement the Brain Institute has with the communities surrounding FAU. I came from an underserved area and I am thankful that with GNTP, I will be in a position to help young students from similar communities."



Jennifer Giordano
Jennifer Giordano

Entered: Graduate Neuroscience Training Program 2021
Experimental Psychology
Mentor: Unassigned

Lab Rotation: TBD
Lab Rotation: TBD
Lab Rotation: TBD
jgiordano2021@fau.edu
MA Psychology/Psychological Science, University of North Carolina at Wilmington
BA Psychology, University of North Carolina at Wilmington

“I received my BA in Psychology and MA in Psychological Science from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. During this time, I worked on a variety of research projects relating to traumatic brain injury and brain development using neuroimaging techniques, like EEG and fMRI. Recently, I have been interested in learning more about the aging process and the factors that influence neurodegenerative disease. I was initially attracted to the GNTP because of its interdisciplinary approach and the opportunity to explore my research interests through lab rotations. The exceptional resources at FAU combined with beautiful South Florida weather made the GNTP an easy choice!  

In this photo, I was presenting my lab’s research during a poster session in 2019 at the Annual Conference for the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) that was held in Atlanta, Georgia.

Gianna Cannestro
Gianna Cannestro

Entered: Graduate Neuroscience Training Program 2021
Experimental Psychology
Mentor: Unassigned
Lab Rotation: Summer Sheremata, Ph.D.
Lab Rotation: TBD
Lab Rotation: Jenny Wei, Ph.D.
gcannestro2015@fau.edu
BS Biological Sciences, Florida Atlantic University
BA Health Sciences, Florida Atlantic University

“I am interested in studying haptic perception and pain and how they may alter and be altered by other brain activity. I have been working with FAU faculty to present and publish work on somatosensation and it’s confounds.

I chose the GNTP because of the Brain Institute's glowing reputation. Getting the chance to work alongside researchers from FAU as well as Scripps and Max Planck is a hard to pass up opportunity!"

Claudia Alvarez
Claudia Alvarez

Entered: Graduate Neuroscience Training Program 2021
Experimental Psychology
Mentor: Unassigned
Lab Rotation: Randy Blakely, Ph.D.
Lab Rotation: Henriette van Praag, Ph.D.
Lab Rotation: TBD
claudiaalvar2021@fau.edu
BS Behavioral Neuroscience & Psychology, Randolph-Macon College

“My particular interests include understanding the cellular mechanisms of oxidative stress that increase inflammatory markers in the brain and the potential mechanisms to reverse this damage and promote resiliency. In my undergraduate program, I worked in a research lab which used various mice models of stress to measure the effects on molecular markers of inflammation and resiliency, in the Hippocampus. I then found employment at Radius TBI of South Florida, where I was the Clinical Research Coordinator for an ongoing study on oculo-motor function as a non-invasive biomarker of mild cognitive impairment.

I was attracted to the GNTP program because of its multidisciplinary approach to the field of neuroscience. The structure of the program was very appealing, as it provides students with the opportunity to have a rotation within each of these approaches when making the decision of which PhD to further pursue."

Bethany O’donnell
Bethany O’donnell

Entered: Graduate Neuroscience Training Program 2021
Integrative Biology/Neuroscience
Mentor: Unassigned
Lab Rotation: TBD
Lab Rotation: TBD
Lab Rotation: TBD
bodonnell2021@fau.edu
BS Neuroscience/Environmental Biology Christopher Newport University, VA

“I am very excited to begin my PhD at FAU through the GNTP! I obtained a dual Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Environmental Biology and have worked in multiple research settings in both fields. I worked in a neuroscience lab at CNU conducting research on learning and choice behavior in fish, have interned and volunteered with The MERR Institute in Delaware participating in marine life stranding and conservation research, rescue, and rehabilitation, and have even executed independent experiments in neuroeconomics and island biology. Having such a diverse background in research interests, I was drawn to the GNTP at FAU for the unique ability to complete studies and research in similarly cross-sectional areas of neuroscience and ecology. Especially considering the strong partnerships FAU has with Scripps and Max Planck Institutes, the breadth of resources and opportunities to collaborate across fields far outweigh those of a typical graduate neuroscience program. I hope to focus my research in an area of animal behavior and have arranged my first rotation with Dr. Kowalko in the cavefish lab!