Chloe Lawyer has been selected as a Goldwater Scholar
Hometown: Des Moines, IA
Research Summary: I have been working with Dr. Illig in the neuroscience lab since fall of 2010. My research has focused on investigating the importance of dopamine in learning the predictive values of environmental cues. I received a Young Scholars Grant to perform an experiment in which rats used olfaction to learn associations between odor pairings and a positive or negative reward. Dopamine levels were manipulated using a dopamine antagonist, and changes in the rat’s ability to learn associations were quantified. I worked with other students examining developmental changes in dopamine receptors and how these changes underlie age-related differences in odor-guided associative learning. Currently, I received a Collaborative Inquiry grant to investigate age-specific D1 and D2 receptor colocalization in prefrontal cortical regions using immunohistochemistry techniques. This research will serve to further develop the knowledge of dopaminergic circuitry, and provide insight into age-related differences in this circuitry.
Post graduate plans: After graduation I plan to attend a Ph.D. program in neuroscience. I am interested in conducting research on learning and memory, and how these processes are modulated. After I achieve my doctorate I hope to eventually secure professorship at a university, where I will teach neuroscience and conduct research in my own lab.
The Goldwater Scholarship Program honoring Senator Barry M. Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields. The Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,123 mathematics, science, and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide.