I am a BS/MS student at Drexel University seeking a degree in Spring 2013. I plan to attend the University of Chicago to do graduate work in the field of Computational Neuroscience. At Drexel, I have worked in Dr. Karen Moxon's lab for three years. My research has entailed using spinal cord stimulation to elicit movement in a rat model of spinal cord injury. We know that we can decode information from the rat brain regarding the direction, duration, and force of limb movements. My research aimed to use spinal cord stimulation to control those parameters of elicited movement, which in turn would demonstrate the feasibility of a closed-loop brain-machine interface for restoring limb movements after spinal cord injury. I demonstrated that, by varying the amplitude, duration, and location of stimulation, I could alter the force magnitude, duration, and direction of the rat hindlimb response to stimulation, respectively.
I applied for the NSF GRFP in the hopes of funding my graduate work and thereby facilitating my transition to graduate school. While I did not receive the full award, I am, for lack of a better word, honored to have received an Honorable Mention. I believe that, even in the absence of the financial award, I have received invaluable feedback on my ability to propose a scientific research project, and plan to apply again in the following year.