In October, six students from the neuroscience and psychological science majors joined Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Timothy Schoenfeld in Chicago, Illinois, to present independent research at the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting. They were joined by nearly 27,000 scientists from across the world sharing their newest research in the neurosciences.
Throughout the week, students and faculty were able to attend a variety of exciting research lectures and learn about cutting edge research in the field. A history and modern inventory of neuron communication at the synapse, a discussion about studying episodic memories in the human brain, new technologies designed to stimulate the brain in Alzheimer’s patients and a debate about neuron creation in the adult human brain were a few of the highlights of the conference.
Many students were able to network with graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, faculty and program directors at poster sessions, socials and graduate school fairs. Throughout the programming, students found renewed interest in Ph.D. programs, desire towards an M.D./Ph.D. program in addition to medical school and clarity in the types of research programs they want to pursue in the future.
Schoenfeld attended a workshop on keeping a research program at an undergraduate institution, which discussed creative and innovative ways to apply for grants and conduct research at teaching-focused institutions.
Students Damaris Guevara, MK Parrott and Arielle Manabat presented research at the undergraduate poster session at the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience Social. Guevara, and Parrott presented summer research at Belmont on the effects of acute exercise on memory and depressive behaviors in rats. Manabat presented summer research at Purdue University on toxicity within a Parkinson’s Disease model. Schoenfeld and students Amelia Smith, Kayla Williams and Karina Glushchak presented at the Hippocampal Learning poster sessions later in the week. Schoenfeld presented student research on modeling frustration effects on anxiety in rats. Smith and Williams presented their summer research at Belmont on the effects of ongoing adult neurogenesis on aging and inflammation in the brain. Glushchak presented her honors thesis research on adolescent high-fat diet and sleep deprivation effects on adult memory.
Students and faculty reported excitement from many visitors in regard to their posters about their research and a lot of constructive feedback on how to move forward with each project.