By Bethany Augliere
To train the next generation of brain scientists, the FAU Stiles- Nicholson Brain Institute and Charles E. Schmidt College of Science launched the new Neuroscience Graduate Program (NGP) in the fall of 2022.
The innovative, multi-campus doctoral program blends a comprehensive curriculum that ranges from studying molecules to minds with a variety of research opportunities, and serves as a key element in the university’s pursuit of groundbreaking, interdisciplinary neuroscience research.
NGP students are expected to complete the program within six years, pursuing a curriculum tailored to their career interests with significant time committed to advanced research.
Claudia Koroma, current trainee in the program, studies the role of diet and exercise and how it impacts the brain in Alzheimer’s disease, such as the formation of amyloid plaques. Koroma said not nearly enough is known about the underlying mechanisms that contribute to formation of plaque in the brain, so “this work can help support the body of literature in understanding these underlying biological mechanisms within a model of Alzheimer’s.”
Koroma, a native of Peru, was raised in Florida and earned a bachelor’s degree in behavioral neuroscience and psychology from Randolph-Macon College in Virginia. Before joining FAU, she spent a few years working at a clinic in Fort Lauderdale specializing in traumatic brain injuries. Eventually, she was promoted to a clinical research coordinator where she conducted research on the ocular-motor system — the regions throughout the central nervous system that interact to control various eye movements — and its association in cognitive impairment and decline. “It was during this time that my passion for research really became pronounced and clear, so I decided to apply to FAU for my Ph.D. in order to continue to pursue a career in research,” she said. “I knew this was the right program for me because the multi-disciplinary perspective of science is important to me and I wanted to be immersed in that kind of environment.”