Hello and welcome to my blog! My name is Maya and I’m about to start my fourth year of undergraduate study at the Ohio State University in the United States. I’m double majoring in neuroscience and molecular genetics, with a dream of pursuing my PhD and becoming a researcher. I am very passionate about studying Alzheimer’s disease (for more on that, check out my science blog, AlzScience). In particular I’m interested in the neuroepigenetic processes underlying memory formation, as well as the link between neuroimmunology and neurodegenerative diseases.
Immediately after my spring finals, I will hop on a plane bound for Athens, Greece. There I will spend ten days with my classmates learning about the literature and mythology of ancient Greece as part of a short-term study abroad program. From there I’m on to Italy with two of my friends from the class, working our way by train from Rome to Florence to Venice, and then on to Paris. After my friends leave I will spend a week traveling solo in Spain, before heading finally to Lausanne, Switzerland. There I will be completing a three-month research program at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) under Dr. Johannes Gräff. I will be studying the neuronal mechanisms that connect sleep deprivation to the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease. My work will be supported by a stipend from EPFL’s School of Life Sciences, as well as a ThinkSwiss Scholarship from the U.S. Embassy of Switzerland.
I have several reasons for creating this blog. The first is simply to document my thoughts and experiences during my first-ever international trip. It is also for my family and friends to keep track of me as I’m trouncing through Europe, probably looking like the epitome of a clueless American. And finally, I would like for this blog to serve as a resource to other students who are interested in traveling abroad, particularly for undergraduate research purposes. I will have regular internet access during my trip and I plan to post as regularly as possible. If you have any questions about my experience along the way, feel free to contact me!