One small step


It's Christian. I don't look like I shower often, but that's because I'm riding out my long hair look until old age leaves me bald.

The decision to make this blog came about from the frustration I felt when looking up potential faculty mentors. Students don't get a complete picture of your research by simply reading outdated blurbs uploaded to university faculty online directories. When people hear about your work, curiosity, coupled with the near complete lack of privacy in today's digital age, has made it socially acceptable for them to Google you. Thus, this is my attempt at giving people a continuously updated picture of who I am, both inside and outside of the academic setting. I realize I'm not even officially in a Ph.D. program yet, so why should anyone care about what I have to say? Personally, I want to look back years from now to see just how much I've changed or remained the same. This will also provide an update of my life to friends who I've made a crappy job at keeping contact with. Finally, this is a cool way to practice writing without having to worry about someone judging its quality.

A little about myself. I'm an immigrant. However, I do feel very American at this point in my life. I've had the privilege of continuing my education post-graduation in this country, and that's something I don't think I would've had if I stayed in Mexico. I'm very grateful, especially for my parents. I don't know how they worked up the courage to move from one country to another. The idea of even moving out of California is intimidating enough for me.

I really like Neuroscience. I've had the good fortune of working with faculty who are really passionate about their research, not just as a career, but as a form of expression. It is rare to find a job where you can carve out a life path to answer a specific question about something you're personally interested in. In addition, science makes for a great vehicle to mentor and inspire bright, young minds. A professor sparked my interest in neuroscience, I want to do the same to someone else one day. Anyway, I'm amazed by the mental processes behind humans behavior. Different camps will argue about whether this occurs due to a strict set of biological rules, some going as far as researching free will or lack thereof.

Observable human behavior can belie a rich biology. Cells in our brain give rise to cognitive processes that impact our actions in conscious and unconscious ways. I'm aiming to do research looking at the brain systems involved in human cognition, either through mechanistic approaches using animal models, or by observing changes in electric activity within brain networks associated with cognitive phenomena (or a combination of both!). I'm lucky that I don't know what exact methodology I'll use over my research career, because it all sounds exciting and cool. I'm not simply indecisive, it's just that the future looks so bright with opportunity.

I hope I keep this habit, because writing this was really fun.

About Christian

Neuroscientist at UC San Diego

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