Mr Ayan Mandal (2018)
In high school, I was interested in the questions surrounding psychology, but more satisfied with answers utilizing biology. Naturally, this predicament led me to neuroscience. At Georgetown University, while pursing majors in Neurobiology and Physics, I studied how different disease states could affect the connectivity of the nervous system. Most of my work centered on stroke, where we investigated how damage to neural structures, particularly white matter tracts, affected language abilities in patients. I also conducted in vitro electrophysiology research and characterized the functional connectivity of neuronal networks corresponding to APOE4, a high risk gene for Alzheimer’s Disease, in comparison to APOE3, the neutral allele. At Cambridge, I will be applying my growing expertise in network neuroscience analysis to uncover brain networks corresponding to states of cognition in patients with brain tumors. We hypothesize that when important pieces of cognitive networks are resected to remove the tumor, predictable surgically induced cognitive deficits will result. This work could inform neurosurgical planning before tumor resection in the future. Ultimately, I hope to become a physician-scientist dedicated to translating key advances in research into the clinic. I am truly honored to join a community of motivated scholars focused on bettering the human condition.