Stephanie Domzalski

1. What is your specific area of research (include the name of your faculty and/or laboratory)?
I am in the laboratory of Dr. Gary Lynch in the College of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior. Our research is in the field of neurobiology, and we are studying the molecular effects of a group of synthetic drugs that have been shown to enhance memory and cognition in the elderly.
2. When and how did you first get involved in research?
I began doing research in the laboratory of Dr. Ralph Purdy in the Department of Pharmacology during the summer following my freshman year. At the time, a friend of mine was in the lab and suggested that I try to work with Dr. Purdy.
3. How has research enhanced you education?
Besides complementing my knowledge about concepts discussed in class, research has also allowed me to apply what I have learned to actual experiments. Working in the lab has also given me a new appreciation for science and has greatly increased my interest in the subject.
4. What has been you favorite experience with research (include any interesting stories or specific events)?
The summer following my sophomore year I worked in the lab of Dr. Alcino Silva at UCLA. This was the first time I had ever worked in the field of neuroscience, but I was hooked from the very beginning. By the time I completed the summer program, I knew that I had found my true interest. I returned to UCI and changed into a neuroscience lab, where I will continue my work until I graduate.
5. What are your future plans and how has being involved in research helped to prepare you to meet your goals?
After graduation this June, I plan to either enter a research program in Japan or do a one year post-baccalaureate program at a US institution. I then plan to enter an MD/PhD program at a US university. Long-term, I would like to pursue a career in scientific and clinical research, with a concentration on human mental disorders.
6. What advice would you give to a student interested in pursuing a faculty-mentored undergraduate research project or creative activity?
Start early. The more experience you gain, the better off you will be. Do not be afraid to change labs here and there until you find your niche. Once you find the lab for you, stick with a single project and make sure you can co-author papers in major scientific journals. Sometimes working in a lab full of post-docs and graduate students can be daunting, but UCI faculty are normally very helpful and encouraging to undergraduates, so use this to your advantage.

Past Researchers of the Month

Dec. '03 Jana Remy
Nov. '03 Jacqueline Chattopadhyay
Oct. '03 Anshuman Chadha
Sep. '03 Ted K. Yanagihara
Aug. '03 Stephanie Domzalski
Jul. '03 Susan Milden
Jun. '03 Mai Nguyen
May '03 Chris Smith
Apr. '03 Erin Ramsey
Mar. '03 Michael Williams
Feb. '03 Emily Slusser
Jan. '03 Laleh Boroujerdi-Rad
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