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Rachel GrashowQuantitative Approaches to Neuroscience: From Molecules to Behavior
Brandeis UniversityWaltham, MA
I am presently working on my PhD program at Brandeis University, in a lab that studies a small, fairly simple, well-defined circuit of interconnected neurons. Thus far, neuroscientists have described neurons using conventional measures taken when the neuron is isolated from other neurons. I want to know whether these conventional measures of isolated neurons will allow us to predict how those neurons will behave when put into a network. My interdisciplinary approach- addressing dynamic interactions between biological cells using computational methods- stems in part from my background as a student of social science during my undergraduate and post-graduate career.
I majored in sociology at Wesleyan University while taking neuroscience courses. My sociological training taught me to see how individuals contribute dynamically to the society in which they belong. After graduating from college I took a position working as a database administrator and event planner for one of the candidates for the mayoral seat in New York City in 2001. Working in politics and developing technological tools for the campaign was challenging and exciting, but I realized that I was more interested in using my computational and critical thinking skills to investigate questions about neural network dynamics.
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