I am a physician-scientist specializing in Child Neurology and neuroscience. I study the neural mechanisms underlying the core features of autism spectrum disorder and related neurodevelopmental conditions. My goal is to develop circuit-based therapies for neuropsychiatric disorders. To understand how brain function is disrupted at the level of cells, circuits, and behavior, I use experimental approaches including brain slice whole cell patch clamp electrophysiology, in vivo optogenetics, in vivo calcium imaging, in vivo electrophysiology, and animal behavioral assays. Our preclinical studies in rodents will lay the groundwork for advances in therapeutic brain stimulation in humans. Once we understand how changes in neural circuits drive specific symptoms, we can manipulate those pathways to compensate for or reverse disease.
Given my clinical, research, teaching, and service duties, unfortunately I am not available to mentor undergraduate students for research in my lab, schedule one-on-one informational interviews, or host students for shadowing in my clinic.
I do host undergraduate students for summer internships through the program Women in Neuroscience (https://neurowomen.org) and I am the inaugural faculty advisor for the Society for Advancing Gender Equity in STEM at UT Austin (https://sagesatutaustin.ucraft.site).
One way to get involved in medicine and research is to register as a volunteer clinical research assistant through the hospital at Seton Ascension / Dell Children’s. Once you’re registered in the database, medical researchers in need of assistants can contact you to help run their studies. By helping to run clinical research studies, you can have the opportunity to connect with physicians and scientists to help advance the field of medicine through research.
If this is of interest to you, please follow this link to apply as a “Potential RV”: https://www.seton.net/medical-services-and-programs/research-enterprise…
If you decide to become a research volunteer, please contact me once you're fully registered (please include the term ASCRV in the subject line) so I can contact you in the future if I need help on any clinical studies I'm doing. I am particularly interested in research assistants who are fluent in spoken Spanish.