RISE Scholar Spotlight: Tanner Euston, Neuroscience and Psychology

What’s your name, hometown, grade and anticipated major? I’m Tanner Euston from Newton, New Jersey. Right now, academically I’m a sophomore but as a first year, and I am currently a neuroscience major with a minor in psychology.

Who is your mentor and what do they specialize in? My mentor is Sam Kongsamut and he specializes in neuroscience, specifically entrepreneurship in small neuroscience tech companies.

Why did you choose him as your mentor? Because I wanted to do something psychology/neuroscience related, kind of bridging the two, and he was the best candidate.

Was he the only person doing neuroscience? No, he was the only neuroscience specific mentor, but there were other guys that obviously had a lot of background in that field.

What are you personally researching? I’m personally researching gene therapy as an alternative fix for common psychological disorders, like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

What about psychology and gene therapy interests you? When I first started my first semester, I wanted to be on a pre-med track, but then I changed over to psychology and neuroscience, because it’s still medically related but I’m really interested in the way the brain works and what causes people to have certain disorders and why are they so common. But specifically I wanted to focus on gene therapy because psychological issues are so complex and not universal from patient to patient because people’s brains are so different. They’re like fingerprints, they’re so unique, so gene therapy is kind of the idea to boil-back, find the cause for a disorder at the most basic level of DNA and fix it.

Do you plan to continue this research through DSSI, independent research, etc? I would absolutely love to, but the only issue with that is gene therapy was currently yellow-lighted and not allowed to be researched 100% hands on in the US. But there’s lots of things related to it that I would want to research in DSSI.

Why did you choose RISE as your seminar? Because it was the only science specific thing, and the one thing about Drew that makes it super special to me as a student that I didn’t know about, was the RISE program because not only is it a way to practically apply the things that you are learning in the classroom, but you can experiment and its really useful not only as an important bullet point on your resume that really stands out but makes the things that you learn in the classroom a lot more interesting when you get to work hands on with people that know all about what you want to work with.

What’s another interest you have? I love arts, but specifically music and acting and theater.

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