I am a rising post-doctoral Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Awards (IRACDA) fellow at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. My current avenue of research and future research interests converge at an interdisciplinary niche that elucidates the relationship between the environment and underlying biological mechanisms that mediate/modulate psychiatric illnesses.
I completed my Ph.D. in the Behavioral Psychopharmacology Lab at the University of Massachusetts Boston with Dr. S. Tiffany Donaldson. My dissertation examined the role of biological trait anxiety as a risk factor for adolescent amphetamine sensitization via the pro-inflammatory TLR4 signaling pathway. I have a long-running interest in psychiatric research and have worked on various projects that examined neural underpinnings of depression-like behaviors, anxiety-like behaviors, and drug addiction-like behaviors in animal models as well as status-seeking and hierarchal behaviors in humans.
My interest and passion for neuroscience began in a cozy college classroom where I held a plasticized human brain in my hands for the first time. It continued to develop throughout my undergraduate research and NSF and NIH research fellowships. However, my love and motivation for neuroscience education is only sustained through the myriad social interactions with my students, peers, mentors, and community at the various stages of my career. I am constantly inspired by our community, stories, and sheer determination to overcome the challenges we face every day in order to manifest our futures, goals, and accomplishments.
I am a mixed-race Black and Latinx scholar, first-generation high school+ graduate, and queer-identifying neuroscientist from a low socioeconomic neighborhood in the Los Angeles area. My hope is to be able to use my experiences and knowledge to potentiate the education and mentorship of future scholars that share similar backgrounds, challenges, and goals.