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Ashley Opalka

Ashley Opalka image

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Honorable Mention, 2020

PhD student Neuroscience

Drexel Faculty Mentors: Dong Wang

As a neuroscientist, Ashley admires how our nervous system can integrate experiences in order to respond appropriately to everyday occurrences. Due to her desire to know how the brain works, and to ultimately contribute to understanding it, she is currently pursuing her PhD in Neuroscience in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy at Drexel University College of Medicine. Under the supervision of Dong Wang, Ashley's research utilizes in vivo electrophysiology, optogenetics, and computational data analysis to study neural ensemble dynamics underlying learning and memory consolidation. Specifically, she is elucidating an understudied neural pathway in memory processing.

During her undergraduate studies at the University of Scranton, Ashley worked under Dr. Robert Waldeck for four years and participated in two summer research fellowships, under Dr. David Sherry at the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center (2015) and Dr. S. Thomas Carmichael at the University of California, Los Angeles (2016). Following graduation, she worked as a research assistant in the Wang Lab at Drexel to learn new lab set-up and advanced neuroscience techniques (2017-2019). His mentorship and the Department’s support influenced her decision to remain at Drexel for her PhD. Although, she did not receive the NSF funding, Ashley believes she gained invaluable skills on how to propose and communicate her research.

Last updated: April 2020