Monica Amirian

Year in program: 2019

Current Institution: UCLA

During the two-week summer program at UCLA Neurocamp, I was introduced to concepts of neuroscience and basic lab techniques in Molecular Neurobiology and Neurophysiology. In high school, I never got to work in a lab setting and learn about all the tools that can be used which is why I applied to Neurocamp because it is a great program to show high school students who are interested in doing research one day about labs. One of my biggest accomplishments during this program was getting to master how to use a pipette in an experiment with mice ears to figure out which one of the ears was contaminated with a disease. We also got to experiment with crickets who were injected with caffeine to see the differences in their reactivity. However, one of my favorite parts about the program was meeting new people who I still to this day keep in touch with through social media. The mystery about all the diseases in neurology is what inspires me to learn about neuroscience. The brain is a complex organ that contains all our memories, histories, and emotions that has so much to be explored and most of it has not been discovered yet. The field of neuroscience always has a challenge and obstacle ahead of you which keeps your everyday learning interesting.

Parth Amin

Year in program: 2019

Current Institution: Dartmouth College

I was able to get my hands dirty with wet work, particularly through investigating c-elegan habituations. After observing their responses to air puffs, our lab was able to observe the phenomenon of neural plasticity within the simple nematodes. I was also able to further my understanding of neurodegenerative diseases, neuronal firing, brain anatomy, and the process of PCR with my lab section. I like to thank Dr. Grisham for allowing me to work with him and his wonderful team. I find neural plasticity and brain development very fascinating. I was intrigued to learn more about the neuronal pruning that results with age, and the molecular mechanisms that facilitate neuronal signal strengths. I was pleasantly surprised that my childhood video game character, Sonic Hedgehog, plays a critical role in the development of the human brain.

Lisa Nguyen

Year in program: 2019

Current Institution: El Camino Community College

At the UCLA Neurocamp, I learned a lot about how the brain works, along with the diseases. I also did a lot of hands on labs, to see if the sample I had carried the Huntington Disease. I have learned more about this concept than in AP Biology. I am looking to do more research like this in the future. What inspired me to learn about neuroscience is my curiosity for how the brain works. Everyone’s brain works differently, and I was willing to learn more about that.