I am gay and I am a behavioral neursocientist and PhD-in-the-making. //
I’m originally from a really small town in Michigan where I didn’t feel comfortable being myself or even recognizing that I was gay. When I finally went away to college at the University of Michigan, I not only felt comfortable being truly myself but developed a really strong passion for science. I’ve been fortunate to have supportive mentors who have always made me feel like I belong and in turn strive to encourage and lift up voices of those from underrepresented backgrounds. I’m interested in the basic building-blocks of our behavior to better understand our actions and decisions. In the lab I study the psychological and neurobiological processes that contribute to our motivation to pursue rewards like food, sex, and drugs. In particular I’m interested in why certain places and things become powerful motivators that guide our behavior in adaptive ways, and how these processes may become maladaptive such as in addiction.