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Hometown: Toledo, Ohio

My research is aimed at better understanding catecholamine signaling between neurons. This area of research is interesting because it has implications of many important human conditions such as stress, addiction, depression, Parkinson’s disease, and schizophrenia. However, what really motivates me about my research is that I have a sense of ownership over it. I am able to ask questions that are of personal interest and, more importantly, I am able to design and carryout the experiments necessary to answer those questions. This sense of personal ownership and interest in my research project is really what makes it cool.

I am pursuing my PhD in this department because of the quality of faculty and their research. The broad diversity of research occurring in this department allow me to join a lab whose topic of research aligned with my personal interests. Furthermore, a good mix of new and established professors offers unique mentoring perspectives that I have found beneficial to both my current research and figuring out my future career.

Cleveland has far more to offer than it is typically given credit for. Immediately surrounding the Case Western Reserve University is the University Circle district that boasts a world-class cultural experience including a stunning, and newly renovated, art museum and a premier symphony orchestra. Better yet, essentially all of the local museums and the symphony are either free to the public or offer heavily discounted student tickets to make them easily affordable while living off of an NIH stipend. From a more citywide view, perhaps the most underappreciated, and my favorite, aspect of Cleveland is the food and entertainment scene. One of my favorite nights of entertainment is to ride the RTA downtown, grab a bite at one of a multitude of good restaurants, attend a Cleveland Indians baseball game, and end the night at one of the many local breweries or bars.