Undergraduate Institution- State School
Degree: B.S. (graduated 2010)
GPA: 2.96 overall, 3.89 in Major/Minor courses
GRE: didn’t take, not required
-2 semesters of undergrad research experience, travelled to Experimental Biology annual meeting for poster presentation (2nd author)
-2nd place award in student research day
-2011-2017: executive director of a non-profit organization (a small animal shelter, but definitely provided plenty of leadership experience)
-2017-present: Researcher at an R1 university (SIU) in neuroscience lab. We study alterations in glutamate neurotransmission throughout stages of AD progression. PI’s are well respected in their field, known for expertise in real-time recording of in vivo neurotransmitter activity using enzyme coated ceramic micro electrode arrays. Have 2 sfn abstracts (2nd and 3rd author), 1 ad/pd abstract (2nd author), 1 manuscript that will be submitted for review next week (2nd author). Current project is a collaboration with a very distinguished PI (widely known for his research in aging and longevity, over 400 publications, 30 years of continuous NIH funding, etc...). I will be 2nd author on publication that comes from this.
-successful aging and neurodegenerative disease
-altered neurotransmission in age-related neurodegenerative disease
-Optogenetics in the study and characterization of age-related neurodegenerative disease
-neuroendocrine changes associated with age-related neurodegenerative disease
-cellular senescence and the role of senescent cells in age-related neurodegeneration
LOR’s: one from each of my PI’s and one from collaborator mentioned above. Have worked with all 3 very closely, expecting strong letters.
I am applying to 3 programs: Michigan State University, U of Michigan, and SIU. I have corresponded with potential advisors from MSU and U of M, all have expressed interest in my research experience and encouraged me to apply to program and name them on my apps.
MSU is my first choice as their program strongly focuses on age-related neurodegenerative disease and labs are doing work that line up very well with my research interests. U of M is more of a long-shot, and has fewer labs I’m interested in, but the PI I collaborate with has strong connections to labs that study aging.
SIU is a fallback, the PI’s I work for have already offered me an RA spot in the lab (already funded through current R01) and have a project lined up for me if I decide to study there. I would be admitted as off-cycle, so I can start research right away and take required courses the following year. (SIU usually only admits in odd-numbered years for the neuroscience program, but will make an exception in my case). The only reason I am not choosing this program as 1st on my list is bc my SO moved to Grand Rapids, MI earlier this year for work and I’d like to be able to be closer to him. The research being done in labs at MSU is very similar to what we are doing here except they look at tau, while we look at abeta (not joking, it’s kind of scary how similar the labs are to my current one).
My Personal Statement and Academic statement are pretty strong (I think). Had them reviewed by my PI’s and collaborator (he used to be on admissions committees for SIU, so I trust his judgement) and they approve.
Oh, and I’m a white female, figured I’d throw that in there since it seems to be what everyone else has been doing.