Meet Our Students

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Heather M.

From the Lions Mouth: 
“As a first-year, I was able to secure my dream research position within my first semester at Columbia. One of the organizations I'm heavily involved in hosts an undergraduate research fair that connects labs with undergraduate students. At this fair I met my advisor, who after a quick e-mail exchange accepted me into a lab within the Department of Neurology at the Medical Center. I do research there twice a week, once between my classes on Mondays and a full day on Fridays. There I work on cutting-edge neuroscience using lasers to control the firing of neurons in behaving mice. I've been trained in mouse neurosurgery and behavioral study procedures, even trusted to work with a microscope worth over a million dollars. Since this opportunity was unpaid, Columbia gave me a grant to fund my research, which I'll be doing full time during the summer.”
My Extracurricular Activities: 
My Columbia Day: 
  • 9:30 a.m.

    Head over to Ferris Booth Commons for an omelet and toast with a few of my floormates after we do some reading in our lounge before class starts.

  • 11:00 a.m.

    Attend Science of Psychology with Professor Patricia Lindemann, where we discuss REM sleep and how it impacts learning and memory.

  • 2:30 p.m.

    Read for my Literature Humanities class while on the 1 train up to the Columbia University Medical Center. I’m en route to my lab, where I get to perform cranial window surgery (brain surgery) on genetically engineered mice, then conduct behavioral research studies using implanted lasers to control mouse behavior. 

  • 8:00 p.m.

    Attend the Columbia Neuroscience Society executive board meeting, where we discuss the collaborative outreach event I’m helping to plan for Brain Awareness Week.

  • 10:00 p.m.

    Head to JJ’s Place for a late dinner before a group study section (which includes Insomnia Cookies from our RA, since she’s the best!).