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Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - May/June 2016 - (Page 17)

ISTOCK.COM/4X-IMAGE IMMERSED IN BRAIN SCIENCE SUMMER RESEARCH AT ROCKEFELLER by Ella Epstein THE FIRST TIME I SAW A REAL BRAIN WAS IN THE SUMMER OF SEVENTH GRADE. THAT YEAR I TOOK A BIOTECHNOLOGY COURSE THROUGH CTY, AND IT WAS IN A LAB THAT I SAW A MOUSE'S BRAIN IN A GLASS BOTTLE. SUSPENDED IN FORMALDEHYDE, THE GRAY BLOB LOOKED LIKE IT COULD HAVE BEEN MADE OUT OF CLAY BY A CHILD. HOW DID SOMETHING SO TINY AND CRUDE-LOOKING CONTROL A BODY, EVEN THE SMALL ONE OF A MOUSE? I WAS INTRIGUED. O ISTOCK.COM/ILEXX ne year later, in CTY's neuroscience course, I studied a brain specimen in quite a bit more detail. In fact, a lot of our time in the course was spent dissecting sheep brains and learning the names for each fissure and lobe. As you might expect, a sheep's brain is larger than that of a mouse; in fact, it looks surprisingly similar to a human one. While studying this mammal's brain, I realized how complex and fragile it is. The brain's protective membrane, the dura mater, is a wonderful shield, but it cannot protect the brain from everything. This became especially clear in the final week of the course, when we delved into mental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. I realized that the brain is powerless against the onslaught of proteins that its own neurons produce, microscopic invaders that can have a profound impact on behavior and well-being. In awe of the wonders of brain function, I was eager to work in a lab as soon as I could find an opportunity. Mouse Brain Revisited By the time I was 16-the minimum age mandated by many labs across the country-I was chomping at the bit to work in a lab. Through online research of high school internships, I found the program I wanted to apply to: Rockefeller University's Summer Science Research Program (SSRP). Held at one of the world's top biomedical research universities, the SSRP is a seven-week program that matches high schoolers with leading scientists based on a brief personal essay imagine 17

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - May/June 2016

Big Picture
In My Own Words Karl Deisseroth, Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry, Stanford University
Mind Brain Philosophy and neuroscience at CTY
A Meeting of the Minds at the National Brain Bee
Mind over Matter Overcoming communication barriers via technology
A Fish of a Different Color My neuroscience internship
Immersed in Brain Science Summer research at Rockefeller University
Brain Training Four graduate students share their research
Prime Time for Brain Science Exciting new findings, from brain maps to mindfulness
Making the Connection Teaching kids about mind, media, and health
Selected Opportunities and Resources
Pitch Perfect The lure of rugby
My Stress-Free Adventure Scuba, sailing, and discovery
Off the Shelf Review of Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant
Word Wise
Exploring Career Options Interview with neuropsychologist

Lisa Jacobson

One Step Ahead Ten commandments for college success
Planning Ahead for College Can your dream school become a reality?
Students Review New York University
Creative Minds Imagine Fiction contest winners
Mark Your Calendar
Knossos Games
Mind + Brain Philosophy and neuroscience at CTY

Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - May/June 2016