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Matt
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The Neuroscience of Traumatic Brain Injury

Finding Purpose through Personal Experience

Mentee Profile

A high school junior from a rigorous prep school, Matt's interest in neuroscience was sparked through the personal experience of having sustained six concussions over the course of his life. In dealing with his recovery, Matt was curious to learn more about the effects of traumatic brain injury on the mind.

Mentee Goals

Gain an in-depth knowledge of the intricacies of the brain to prepare for future academic and possibly professional work in neuroscience

Connect his studies to his personal experience by framing his research around the concussion-related illness, CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy)

Develop his data analysis and academic writing skills

Mentor Match

Matt's mentor match was a leading expert and advocate on concussion prevention and research, the co-founder and CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, and co-founder of the Boston University CTE Center. He'd gained his PhD in behavioral neuroscience after retiring from professional wrestling, hoping to understand how his concussions had impacted his brain chemistry.

Custom Curriculum

Skill Development

Matt wrote up weekly summaries of reviews to better understand research design, analysis and interpretation. These summaries ultimately served as the building blocks for a CTE literature review.

Program

Matt and his mentor reviewed 3-6 articles per week from primary literature to understand various aspects of CTE research, including epidemiology, etiology, diagnostic testing, clinical symptoms, pathology and risk factors.

Final Project

For his final project, Matt completed an academic review paper of CTE science, which covered the history of the disease, animal models in CTE testing, modern CTE pathology, diagnosis and treatment.

MENTEE FEEDBACK

Students self-reported large gains in:

Technical skills

Research skills

Accomplishing a personal goal

Gaining appreciation for the value of his own contributions

Vist project website

OTHER PROJECTS

Application of machine learning algorithm and Python to predict song genres using raw data from Spotify

Foldable solar cell that was designed using mathematical principles of symplectic geometry through origami

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