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Benjamin Cocanougher

Benjamin Cocanougher

  • Scholar
  • United States
  • 2016 PhD Zoology
  • St Catharine's College

I grew up catching praying mantises and damselflies in rural Kentucky. As an undergraduate at Centre College, I majored in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; I spent my summers taking care of sick children at the Center for Courageous Kids and doing research in organic chemistry and neuroscience. I matriculated directly to the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and completed my first three years of medical school. I then moved to Janelia Research Campus as a HHMI Medical Research Fellow; there I studied the neural and genetic bases of behavior. As a PhD student in Zoology, I will study adaptive behavior. All animals integrate information about past experience into future decisions; this is the basis of learning and memory. I am proposing to write a specific memory and read the memory trace in the brain. I will use the fruit fly as a model organism. By understanding mechanisms of memory storage, we can begin to investigate changes in memory formation in disease; this may allow us to develop rational therapies for disorders of memory formation, including autism and Alzheimer’s disease. After completing my PhD, I will return to finish my last year of medical school and pursue a career as a child neurologist and neuroscientist, using my lab to better understand the patients I see in clinic.

Previous Education

Centre College

Latest News

New US Gates Cambridge Scholars announced

Following interviews held in Annapolis, Maryland, on 8 and 9 February 2008, the Gates Cambridge Trust is delighted to announce that scholarships for study at the University of Cambridge have been awarded to the 45 American students Full information about the new American Gates Scholars for 2008.

Gates Distinguished Lecture Lent Term 2008

You and your friends are warmly invited to the first lecture of the 2008 Lent Term Gates Distinguished Lecture Series on Tuesday, February 19th. Come and learn something new about archaeological detective work and human social evolution! The speaker, Professor Martin Jones, is the George Pitt-Rivers Professor of Archaeological Science at Cambridge University. He will […]