Neurons, Stress, and Responsibilities

I was going to post about the “From Neurons to Neighborhoods” lecture at Weill Cornell Medical College, but I noticed that the very first blog post was about just that! It sounds like a very interesting lecture about a fascinating topic. I am currently enrolled in Dr. Mangels’s Mind, Brain, and Behavior class in Cognitive Neuroscience and she provides us with many valuable resources both in class and through email. I first found out about the lecture from her and I was very glad that another REU student was also aware of it. I also recently received an email about an NSF REU program in Brooklyn College from Professor Mangels; her email read as follows:

“The Brooklyn College NSF REU Program in Neuroscience is seeking undergraduate applications for Spring 2014 (program dates are Jan. 27 – May 16, 2014).  The current application deadline is October 1, 2013 (but we plan on extending it for a couple of weeks).  Twelve students will be admitted  (8-9 from campuses other than Brooklyn) and each will receive a stipend of $3,100.  REU participants are given the opportunity to carry out an independent research project under the guidance of REU mentors, and to deepen their understanding of the neurosciences through structured didactics and ethics training.

Email Susan Chi if you are interested (
More information about the program can be found on the following website and blog:

While I know that this opportunity will not directly apply to any of us since we already are REU students in a year-long program, this may be an invaluable opportunity for those you may know (especially those with an interest in neuroscience)…and maybe a chance for us to apply for next year!
Personally, I am starting to find neuroscience to be quite daunting and intimidating. When I enrolled in Dr.Mangels’s course I truly did not know what I was getting myself into (I guess I overlooked the entire “science” part of “neuroscience” and expected to be learning fun, almost trivial facts about the brain…enough to brag about, but not enough to truly understand.) With an exam fast approaching and other responsibilities accumulating, I am finding myself in a rather tough spot.
As for  lab life, every week I feel more and more confident about the Sleep Deprivation IRB. Professor Engle-Friedman, Tiffani, Viktoriya, and I are almost finished with the Part II and cannot wait to finally submit it and begin running our study. This is one responsibility that I am very excited to take on!