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Lucy Boyce Kennedy


I spent the past two summers in the Laboratory of Functional and Molecular Imaging at NINDS. My project focused on determining the effect of cortical-cortical inhibition on recovery from peripheral nerve injury. On a more specific level, I performed Somatosensory Evoked Potential (SEP) recordings on rats in vivo to test the hypothesis that inhibitory activity hinders rehabilitation from injury. To run these experiments, I inserted three electrodes into the somatosensory cortex of each rat. I then inserted two forepaw electrodes and connected multiple plugs and wires.

Dr. Galit Pelled was my mentor throughout both summers, and she willingly devoted large amounts of time to explaining her work and methods. Not only did she ensure that I understood the premise of her research, but she taught me to appreciate the importance of patience and open-mindedness in the scientific process.

In addition to performing experiments and data analysis, I attended special lectures and symposia throughout the summers. NIH, as well as NINDS, invites exceptional speakers to present to the summer students. These talks cover topics from cutting edge research in countless areas to career path advice. I also attended lectures sponsored by the Office of Intramural Training and Education (OITE), which elucidate the process of graduate and medical school application. Additionally, I presented a poster at the summer poster session after both summers, which provided me with an opportunity to present my research to many scientists. The poster session enabled me to experience first-hand the process of question and answer that is central to scientific discovery-I was amazed that I enjoyed answering the challenging questions that I was asked!

Last updated December 20, 2013