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Sasha Burwell

PhD Candidate in Neurobiology at Duke University

I attended McGill University for my undergraduate studies, where I received a B.Sc. in neuroscience with a minor in computer science. While there, I worked in a variety of neuroscience labs focused on research ranging from human psychophysics to ion channels but found myself drawn to behavioral and systems neurobiology. For my undergraduate thesis project, I used inhibitory optogenetics to explore the role of basolateral amygdala projections to the nucleus accumbens in mouse motivated feeding behavior.


I am excited to continue studying reward circuits as a neurobiology PhD student in the Tadross lab. I am using DART to antagonize and potentiate specific postsynaptic receptors on midbrain dopamine neurons in vivo. These manipulations will allow us to investigate how glutamatergic and GABAergic innervation modulates the phasic burst and pause dynamics of dopamine neurons, and how this influences reinforcement learning and extinction.


When not in lab, I enjoy cuddling my dog, reading, and going to the beach.


Contact Information


  • B.Sc. in Neuroscience, minor in Computer Science, McGill University 2017

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