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For first-year graduate students in neuroscience, a ‘magical science space’

January 29, 2020

Professor of Neuroscience Anne Hart talks with first-year graduate students during last year’s NeuroPracticum. Photo by Nick Dentamaro/Brown University 

Through an immersive eight-day workshop at the Marine Biological Lab, graduate students gain hands-on neuroscience experience and form connections.

Meghan Gonsalves, a first-year neuroscience graduate student at Brown University, spends most of her time studying imaging techniques used to measure brain activity in humans. So when she was asked to dissect the brain of a fruit fly — which is roughly the size of a poppy seed — she thought she wouldn’t be able to do it. By later on the same January day, Gonsalves found herself gazing in awe at a video of a glowing fly brain. She had stained and imaged the brain using a confocal microscope to visualize neurons that affect fly behavior. 

“To be able to manipulate your data through a microscope is pretty crazy,” said Gonsalves, who holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Brown as well. “I was really nervous doing this because I’m computational/behavioral-oriented. This shows I’m capable of doing more than I thought I was capable of.” Read more.