Members, Past and Present

Current Members

  • Christian Gonzalez
    • Expected class of 2023
    • Biology and Chemistry Major
    • Career goal: Physician’s Assistant
    • Why the slug lab? I wanted to learn more about how genes can be regulated in the aspects of memory. I wanted to gain hands-on experience in a behavioral/molecular lab, and I also wanted to be a part of a team with similar interests as me. 
    • What’s been an interesting or exciting part of being part of the lab this summer? The most interesting thing from my time at the lab this summer would have to be working on the Aplysia, or slugs. I have never interacted with any live animals in the lab before this summer, so It was interesting getting to know more about the animal, and how to train the slugs for our experiment. Another exciting thing about this summer was being able to learn useful laboratory techniques such as PCR, RNA isolation, ect. 
  • Zayra Juarez

My name is Zayra, and I am studying neurobiology. I plan on graduating in 2025 and plan on going to med school to become a physician. I was interested in the slug lab because I wanted to learn more about memory and that was one of the big things we focused on. Everything about the slug lab has been interesting, from learning new techniques, learning from mistakes, and meeting amazing people. This summer has helped me become more confident as someone in science and helped me feel like I can do anything I put my mind to.

  • Theresa Wilsterman
    • Expected year of graduation: 2024 
    • Career goal: I want to spend half of my time working in a clinical setting and the other half performing medical research. 
    • What made you want to work in the sluglab? What drew me into working in the slug lab, initially, was my curiosity of research. I’ve always liked asking “why” and enjoyed lab work in my classes, so I actively searched for a research opportunity in the summer. Towards the end of Neurobiology with Dr. CJ, we performed an experiment that explored the genes activated for learning and memory. At that point, I was hooked on the slug lab for its fascinating content and welcoming culture among the participants. 
    • What’s been an interesting or exciting part of being part of the lab this summer? After analyzing qPCR data with Dr. Bob and Dr. CJ I realized that the experiments we are conducting this summer are equivalent to a movie premier teaser. The four day protocol with the slugs gives us just enough information to understand the overall picture of learning and memory, while also hinting at the plot: forgetting. I am super excited to investigate how the gene expression changes by day 11 and the biological processes behind this memory, or lack thereof.