Sophomore Neuroscience Major, Autumn Redd
Autumn Redd is a sophomore neuroscience major with a pre-medicine concentration. She is working under Dr. Lique Coolen at the Brain Health Research Institute (BHRI) to study the expression of neuropeptides and spinal cord injuries.
Autumn is a participant in the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program, and is now a student research aide, a student research ambassador, and a BHRI fellow. Through her research under Dr. Coolen, she is studying the expression of neuropeptides, specifically enkephalin, in Lumbar Spinothalamic cells, and how they are affected by spinal cord injuries. Over the summer, she focused on looking at tissue and taking high-resolution images, and is currently looking at the genetic material of rats.
In October, Autumn won second place in the three-minute presentations. She mentions this award as her proudest accomplishment in her research, as she “will never forget the hard work she put into creating a great speech.” Additionally, she was invited to present her research and what she learned to the other BHRI fellows and well-known neuroscientists at Kent State. She says that “the research environment is very welcoming and has made these moments two times better.”
As a woman in STEM specifically, having such a welcoming environment and strong support system in research is important for the success of individual researchers and their ability to learn and grow their experience. “Your gender does not define your intelligence, and I feel that anyone can flourish in this field as long as you are willing to work hard and learn from others,” says Autumn. “I love to see girls and women indulging in STEM research, because it gives me not only a sense of happiness, but also a sense of pressure to do well because I know that there are other people out in the world doing the same.”
She recommends getting involved in research, even for those who may not have a specific topic of research in which they are passionate as it can be an excellent learning opportunity and open the door to new career paths. She says, “I am so glad that I decided to try it out just to see if I liked it, as it has now opened up a future career path for me and has given me a lot to consider.”
Written by: Griffin Wold