I am a fourth-year student at Hunter College double majoring in Biology and Psychology. My interest in neuroscience mainly focuses on a molecular level. In particular, I am interested in neural plasticity and neuronal degeneration. At Hunter College, my first exposure to neuroscience was under the mentorship of Dr. Stefan Schlussman in the lab of Dr. Philip Zeigler. I did my thesis studying differences in texture and object discrimination and detection tasks in a transgenic mouse with genetic deletion of a transcription factor, drg11. My lab exposure gave me immense insight into the behavioral neuroscience of the barrel cortex. I also started volunteering in the Bratu Laboratory at Hunter College and got exposure to Drosophila melanogaster and confocal imaging techniques. After volunteering for a semester, I pursued a project under the mentorship of a PhD candidate, Omar Omar and Dr. Diana Bratu. My project focused on mRNA degradation in Drosophila oogenesis, specifically looking at the role of eRFIII (eukaryotic release factor III) in the regulation of protein levels. This past summer I worked in the Aoki Lab at New York University with Dr. Chiye Aoki and a PhD candidate, Adrienne Santiago. I studied the neural mechanisms underlying resilience and vulnerability of mice in an Activity Based Anorexia model (ABA). My research at NYU enabled me to combine both my interests of behavioral and molecular neuroscience. I gained skills in using electron microscopy and immunocytochemistry to complement behavioral analyses that explore neural pathways involved in anorexia nervosa. This summer has shifted my interests in neuroscience to exploring developmental plasticity at a molecular level to explore behavioral patterns in disorders and diseases. In the future, I want to pursue a PhD degree in Neurobiology and Behavior and continue my research as a future professor.
Hunter College Undergraduate STEM Research Conference, May 3rd, 2019: “Post-transcriptional regulation of gurken mRNA by eRF3” Makowicz, et al. 2019.
Hunter College’s 47th Annual Psychology Convention, May 5th, 2019: “Effects of a selective mutation (DRG11-/-Knockout) of the whisker sensory system upon discrimination behavior in mice” Makowicz et al., 2019
NYU’s 6th Annual Summer Student Research Conference July 19th, 2019: “DREADD-Mediated Modulation of Prefrontal Cortex to Dorsal Striatum and Dorsal Raphe Pathway Alters the Vulnerability of Activity-Based Anorexia: An Insight from Triple Immunofluorescence and Electron Microscopy” Makowicz et al., 2019
NYU Center for Neural Science Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium July 26th, 2019: “DREADD-Mediated Modulation of Pathways Originating in Prefrontal Cortex and Projecting to Dorsal Striatum and Dorsal Raphe Alter Vulnerability of Mice to Activity-Based Anorexia” Makowicz et al., 2019