First cohort of neuroscience postbac initiative to begin graduate school

Postbac initiative first cohort with director Letisha Wyatt

An OHSU pilot initiative is forging a pathway to Ph.D. programs for college graduates from backgrounds underrepresented in science. Pictured above, left to right, Katherine Thanyamongkhonsawat, Rachel De La Torre and Letisha Wyatt, Ph.D.

Scholars in the first cohort of OHSU’s Neuroscience Postbaccalaureate Initiative have presented their work at local and international conferences and have been accepted to neuroscience graduate programs. Their readiness for graduate school is a significant measure of success for the pilot initiative, which is overseen by Letisha Wyatt, Ph.D., director of diversity in research.

Rachel De La Torre’s project focused on neuronal remodeling, which is crucial for development of the nervous system. In the Freeman lab, she used drosophila metamorphosis as a model system to study the role of the protein Tweek in neuronal remodeling. She presented her project at OHSU Research Week 2019 and is joining the OHSU neuroscience program.

Katherine Thanyamongkhonsawat studied voltage-gated calcium channels related to synaptic transmission. In the von Gersdorff lab, she investigated inhibition of L-type Ca2+ currents in AII amacrine cells, key to the night-vision pathway in the retina. She presented her research at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) International Conference 2019 and OHSU Research Week 2019. She will begin the neuroscience program at Duke University.

The postbac initiative’s second cohort comprises three students and begins July 1, 2019.

Find out more about the program.