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Student Spotlight: Alexis Zachem '20

Hometown: Scarsdale, NY

Current research project: I work in Dr. Hai Yan’s neuro-onco-genomics lab where I help to identify, characterize, and target genetic mutations that lead to glioblastoma brain tumors. 

Thoughts of neuroscience education: My favorite thing about being a neuroscience major at Duke is all of the diverse neuroscience courses I get to take! My favorite class has been “Autobiographical Memory” with Dr. David Rubin, where I was able to research and write a paper on the neural mechanisms underlying PTSD and propose targeted drug therapies. 

What lights up my brain? I am currently creating an online mentorship interface to help pediatric brain cancer patients through treatment and recovery. By studying both the molecular foundations of brain cancer and the psychological effects of trauma, I want to be able to prevent children from being unnecessarily traumatized by illness.