2015-2016 Trainee

Erin McKay

Deparment: Neuroscience

Degree Status: Graduate Student

Advisor: Scott Counts

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I am 2nd year graduate student in the Neuroscience Program at Michigan State University completing my dissertation work in the department of Translation Science and Molecular Medicine. I received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kent State University graduating summa cum laude with a double major in Biology and Psychology in 2013. I participated in experimental research from 2010-2013 with a focus on first experimental health psychology and then neuroscience.

Along the way I developed a desire to help from the bench rather than a clinician’s chair. In examining the many worthy pursuits open to training neuroscientists, the field I felt most compelled to focus my attention on was that of neurodegenerative research. Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, and Parkinson’s disease are just three examples of these prevalent health concerns whose successful treatment or prevention are unfairly hindered by our limited understanding of the mechanisms underlying individual susceptibility and disease progression. In my time at Michigan State University I have and will continue to focus my effort on elucidating vascular contributions to dementia

s and perhaps identifying amenable treatment targets to prevent or reverse the cerebral damage caused by vascular dysfunction.