The summer of Jane Kruskop’s sophomore year, she was in the lab studying amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), thanks to an Undergraduate Teaching and Research Award (UTRA). The next fall, she joined Anne Hart's ALS lab as a volunteer research assistant. 

“Dr. Hart has been a wonderful mentor for me,” says Jane, “making time to regularly check in to make sure I'm understanding what's going on in lab, making a space for me to ask questions and being open to talking about grad school, research and my career future. Working in a lab has helped me to explore and shape my academic and vocational interests, and given me valuable research experience.”

Dr. Hart has been a wonderful mentor for me.

– Jane Kruskop

Under the theory that you really master a subject when you can teach it to someone else, she is sharing her newfound knowledge of the brain and how it works with fellow undergraduates, as a teaching assistant for Monica Linden (Dr. M) and Kevin Bath, helping them with courses on the human body, neural systems and biological psychiatry. Developing these collaborative relationships with faculty members, through research and teaching, has been especially rewarding for Jane.

“Dr. M is an exceptional professor,” she says. “She’s been a great mentor for me, through teaching, advising and being an example of a woman in neuroscience. And Dr. Bath’s immense knowledge and experience in the psychology and neuroscience fields, paired with his approachability and accessibility, make him a great mentor, too.”

The ability to apply neuroscientific findings to clinical contexts and improve quality of life is what drew Jane to neuroscience. The opportunity to do neuroscience research as an undergraduate drew her to Brown. Now, she can’t wait to start finding ways for her own research to make a difference. After Brown, she plans to earn a Ph.D. and work as a researcher focused on preventing and treating neurodegenerative diseases. She says: “There is still so much to learn and discover about the brain, and that's really exciting!” 

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