A B O U T M E
BEHIND THE OCCULAR LENS
I am a neuroscientist working at the intersection of neuroanatomy, behavior and development. My general interest is to understand how experiences are instantiated in the brain's neurocircuitry with an emphasis on drug addiction. Such experience-dependent neural circuit plasticity is valuable knowledge in the context of drug-evoked brain changes - information we need to devise medications which aid in preventing relapse.
I completed my B.S. degree at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), where I was also an intercollegiate 1M / 3M spring board diver. Following a short period in Japan where I trained in molecular neurobiology at the University of Osaka, I began my graduate training at New York University as a master's student with Dr. Chiye Aoki. My work at NYU had a profound influence in my developing an interest in experience-dependent neuronal plasticity.
For my PhD, as a Marie Curie Fellow and a Short-Term JSPS (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) Fellow under the mentorship of both Drs. Arbuthnott and Aoki, I focused on experience-dependent neuronal plasticity in the cerebellum - an area with well-documented neural circuitry.
Subsequently, I was fortunate to be funded by a second JSPS Fellowship and was kindly hosted by Dr. Sugihara at Tokyo Medical and Dental University to conduct brain-wide examinations of complete axonal trajectories, bringing me closer to being able to access neural circuits in detail.
At the end of 2016, I transitioned back to California to pursue my research goal of bridging circuit plasticity and behavior at The Scripps Research Institute with Dr. Suto. I am currently using activity-based interrogations of groups of neurons - neuronal ensembles - within discrete circuits to link activation of selected neurons with specific behaviors.