The Lombroso Lab welcomes undergraduates who are interested in a serious and intensive research experience during the academic year, during the summer, or both. Working in the lab is not simply an opportunity to develop many scientific research skills. It also offers the possibility of publishing in refereed scientific journals. Most important, it offers the opportunity to join a community of scholars working on issues of critical importance.
The Lombroso Lab gives preference of admission to freshmen and sophomores in order to allow them to dedicated several years in the lab on a project.
Undergraduate students who have worked in the Lombroso Lab have won several honors since 2005, including the Churchill Scholarship, the Mitchell Scholarship, the Marshall Scholarship, Phi Beta Kappa, the Rhodes Scholarship (2 winners and a finalist), and the Yale Biology Prize. Many of them have graduated magna or summa cum laude (Yale), or with University Honors (Wesleyan). They have gone on to do graduate school at Cambridge University, Duke University, Harvard University, MIT, Oxford University, Stanford University, and Trinity College, Dublin.
It is a privilege to work with, mentor, and write for these outstanding students.
Click on a student's name to read an account of their time in the Lombroso Lab.
|Tiffany Hsu||Yale Undergraduate||2012 - Present||Freshman|
|Robert Samples||Amity Regional High School||2011 - present||Laboratory Intern|
|Shaunak Bakshi||Yale Undergraduate||2012 - present||Sophomore|
|Neil Pathak||Yale Undergraduate||2012 - present||Sophomore|
|Jake Allen||Yale Undergraduate||2012 - 2013||Sophomore|
|Christopher Marnell||Yale Undergraduate||2011 - 2013||Junior|
|Faten Sayed||Yale Undergraduate||2011-2013||Senior|
|Micah Johnson||Yale Undergraduate|
2011 - 2013
|William Zhang||Yale Undergraduate||2011||Sophomore|
|Linda Zhou||Yale Undergraduate||2011||Sophomore|
My experience in the Lombroso lab was excellent on all fronts. As a second semester freshman with a budding interest in neuroscience, I found that both Paul and the other scientists in the lab were always willing to sit down and answer my questions, explain their projects, or help me develop my own ideas. I was immediately allowed to take on an important project, and was fully supported as I learned new techniques to complete my project. By the end of a summer, I was extremely comfortable with running a Western Blot, immunohistochemistry, data analysis, and handling live animal studies. I was also able to read and understands volumes of academic literature. I never felt alone or struggling, but also never felt dependent on my mentor for my own progress. I was constantly given opportunities to take on individual projects that interested me. I especially liked the summer seminars that Paul led; these were a great way learn advanced material related to what I was studying and showed how invested Paul is into every undergraduate's education and experience. Every member of the Lombroso Lab is equally supportive and encouraging in all aspects of the lab. My time in the Lombroso Lab was a great experience and I learned things that I will carry with me throughout my education.
|Prateek Baghel||Yale Undergraduate||2011 - present||Junior|
|Faten Sayed||Yale Undergraduate||2010 - present||Senior|
I'm majoring in the Neuroscience track in Psychology and I hope to go on to graduate school in Neuroscience and eventually become a researcher. I'm especially interested in neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders, which drew me to Professor Lombroso's lab in January of 2011. I work with Dr. Susan Goebel-Goody, helping out to elucidate the role of STEP in Fragile X Syndrome. Through her guidance and Evan Wallis's patience in teaching me assays, I came to have a better understanding of how to approach research and what the lab is working on.
Carrying out research in Professor Lombroso's lab has been and continues to be one of my greatest experiences at Yale. Everyone-- and by everyone I mean including neighboring labs-- is very welcoming, supportive, and always there to answer questions. It's a great environment and I'm lucky to be a part of such a great team!
|Jacob Baranoski||Yale Medical School||2010||Yale School of Medicine|
|Tiffany Pang||Yale Undergraduate||2010 - 2012||Senior|
I am currently a junior at Yale College, majoring in Psychology in the Neuroscience track. My interests include memory mechanisms and how they fail in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia. Since August 2010, I have been working and doing exciting research with Dr. Nikisha Carty in the lab to examine the role of STEP in schizophrenia. Working in the Lombroso Lab is my first neuroscience lab experience, and I am very excited for what is to come.
I started my involvement in the lab by doing a little bit of everything: shadowing post-doctoral fellows, helping out around the lab, and picking up valuable lab techniques. My project now is examining the effect of PCP on the STEP substrates in mice brain.
In my off time, I enjoy playing Starcraft, volunteering for the New Haven Hypertension Initiative, hanging out with my wonderful Floridian suitemates, and going to the Pistol Club.
Feel free to contact me with any questions: email@example.com
|Chimezie Ononenyi||QC University||2010 - present||Research Assistant, Lombroso Lab|
I am currently a student enrolled in the graduate biomedical science program at Quinnipiac University. I earned my bachelors in biology from University of Minnesota and have been a member of Lombroso lab since January 2010. My thesis project involves studying various compounds under the guidance of a postdoc, to identify ones that could inhibit the activity of STEP protein. Simultaneously, I assist postdocs on other projects using the skills that I have acquired thus far.
Being a member of Lombroso lab and ongoing research has been very exciting and rewarding. As a student, my interest lies in neuropathological disorders, both from research and clinical perspectives. Quinnipiac does not have a neuroscience department and I have been very privileged to pursue my interest in Lombroso lab. Paul's lab is very welcoming to students like me who have little or no background in research, and the postdocs are very friendly and approachable.
|Linda Li||Yale Undergraduate||2009 - 2011||Medical School|
I am a MCDB pre-med senior at Yale with interests in neurobiology and translational research. With the help of Dr. Lombroso during the end of my sophomore year, I applied for and received the Yale College Dean’s Research Fellowship to help fund a 10 week research project in his lab during the summer of 2009. That summer, I worked with Matt Baum to elucidate the involvement of STEP in Fragile X Syndrome (FXS). Since then, I have been working under the guidance of Susan Goebel-Goody, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab. We are exploring how STEP interacts with Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein, the protein whose absence leads to FXS. We are also looking at how overexpression of STEP contributes to the behavioral deficits characteristic of FXS.
Working in the Lombroso Lab has been a wonderful experience. After looking at many labs at Yale, I have found that the Lombroso Lab is the most supportive and understanding towards students. My experience here has not only allowed me to become a better researcher but has also challenged me to perform to the best of my potential and has helped me develop critical thinking skills that will be extremely useful for my future pursuits. I would recommend this lab to any student interested in an intensive but extremely rewarding long-term research experience.
Feel free to contact me with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Veronica Galvin||Quest College||2010 summer||Junior|
I worked in the Lombroso lab for 8 weeks in the summer of 2010. I worked as a research assistant with a post doc helping with a large schizophrenia project measuring the affect of three neuroleptics on the STEP mediated pathway in the cortex, hippocampus and striatum. I worked the previous summer in a different research lab, but my knowledge and abilities were both extensively strengthened during my stay in the Lombroso lab. I immediately felt welcome and comfortable, and was constantly surprised at how much I was trusted with throughout the summer. Being able to run a western blot on my own from start to finish was terrifying at first, but also helped me find my bearings and feel confident in my abilities much faster and more effectively than I ever would have thought possible. Having readings and discussions of chapters and various papers assigned by Dr. Lombroso throughout the summer also pushed me to learn and understand an incredible amount for such a short period of time. I was quite busy, and hard work was definitely required to master the material and begin to understand all the processes at work with the projects in the lab, but the skills and knowledge I gained will stay with me for years to come, and hopefully help me in my pursuits in a career in cognitive neuroscience. Working in the Lombroso lab has been an invaluable experience, and one I would recommend to any student willing to work hard and who is interested in neuroscience as a potential career.
|Raj Mehrotra||Wash U St. Louis||2010 summer||Sophomore|
|Kristin Johnson||Yale Undergraduate||2009 summer||Senior|
Feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
|Cali Calarco||Vasaar College||2009 summer||Yale University, PhD|
Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program
I am a Senior Neuroscience and Behavior major at Vassar College, and I worked in the Lombroso Lab in the summer of 2009. This was my first experience working in a university scale lab. I spent much of my time genotyping mice from the colony, but I also helped design/implement a habituation protocol for a T-maze testing paradigm. I got to watch the other testing being done in the lab as well as other bench work, and thus I was exposed to many lab techniques besides the ones I was using daily. During the summer, I participated in a weekly journal club style meeting with Paul and the other undergrads working in the lab. This meeting was an invaluable addition to my summer work, as I learned about molecular biology to a degree I hadn’t yet reached in my coursework. I found everyone in the lab to be friendly and supportive, which fostered a helpful and collaborative atmosphere. One of my favorite things about the lab was that I was able to learn about molecular mechanisms and pathways, and also about behavioral work in an integrative way. I find this type of integrative work fascinating and I plan to continue to work on similar style projects in the future, as I look to graduate school. My time in the lab gave me access to a wide range of experiences that have helped me immensely, and I found this summer extremely rewarding.
|Casey Perley||Yale Undergraduate||2006 - 2008||Duke, PhD|
|Michelle Schorn||Yale Undergraduate||2006 - 2007||Research Scientist in Molecular Biology, Ion Torrent Systems|
|Matthew Baum||Yale Undergraduate||2006 - 2009||MD/PhD, Harvard/MIT Program|
I joined the Lombroso Lab fall 2006 and liked it so much that I spent outrageous amounts of time there doing a BS/MS. Once I graduated in 2009, I couldn’t stop myself from continuing the research over the summer. I could think of no better way to spend my “break” time before grad school. When I first joined the lab, I began working with a postdoc, Pradeep, studying STEP’s local translation. As I matured scientifically, the lab helped my independence grow; as I strove to struggle and learn on my own, they always made it clear that they were right there if I needed help. Soon I began planning experiments according to a delightfully idiosyncratic time-table that enabled me to attend class during incubation periods. Then, the summer after junior year, I found myself in a lab in Belgium, experts in Fragile X, acting with Paul’s support and blessing as the Lombroso Liaison on the then nascent STEP-Fragile X project. The local translation of proteins in dendrites and spines is now known to be integral to the development of synaptic plasticity and its dysregulation (possibly via STEP) is thought to be involved in the cognitive deficits present in Fragile X Syndrome, the most common form of inherited mental retardation.
The Lombroso Lab is one of the hidden jewels of Yale. Knowing that research is both intellectually and physically challenging, Paul has seen to it that the Lab is populated by researchers who are at the same time scientific wizards and incredibly fun, down to earth people and is himself genuinely supportive. From mashed potato and bacon pizza at BAR to smiles and jokes spilling over beakers throughout the day, the Lombroso Lab creates the balanced and supportive environment that I found ideal for attempting the intellectual feats necessary to grow as a scientist. Looking back, I am amazed at how much I learned in the Lombroso Lab. I entered with a summer’s skills and left with a few publications and a theoretical and practical grasp of my chunk of neuroscience. But more importantly, I also gained a STEP family. I still visit every time I am in town.
|Yuen-Jong Liu||Yale Medical Student||2005 - 2006||Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess|
|Dan Austin||Wesleyan Undergraduate||2006 summer||MD, Stanford University School of Medicine|
I started working in the Lombroso lab in 2006 as a summer research intern. Since it was my first experience conducting independent research in a lab, Paul astutely assigned me to work under a postdoc in his group. I still managed to temporarily break an incubator in my first week, but things improved as I learned my way around the bench. We worked on evaluating the local translation of STEP at synapses, using a DNA construct that we designed and synthesized that summer. Even though I was under the guidance of a postdoc, I spoke with Paul daily, and he frequently passed through the lab to chat and see how things were going. I enjoyed my time in the lab so much that I continued studying STEP during the following year, and this work evolved into my senior thesis project. Throughout the year, I returned to Yale weekly, either to steal samples or learn techniques from members of the lab. To this day, I continue to collaborate with the Lombroso group on determining STEP’s relevance in schizophrenia.
The lab is very well-suited for prospective students who are interested in acquiring skills that will be relevant in molecular bench research. Work on STEP represents an opportunity to become exposed to ‘real life’ basic scientific inquiry. More importantly, the Lombroso lab is a place that pushes students to learn about designing and executing good research and being critically evaluative of new findings. These skills will help you no matter what path you end up pursuing afterward. Paul worked with me to build a foundation of knowledge in neuroscience, which I still rely on heavily to this day. As is often the case, this means that hard work awaits anyone who is interested in being in such a privileged position. You will read plenty of research articles, prepare presentations on your work and be expected to contribute meaningfully to a project. But there is also pizza at Bar, summer cookouts, and the satisfaction that comes with making a new finding in the lab. The experience has provided me with incredible insight, and Paul has helped me to pursue a career that is suited for my particular interests.
|Joanna Mattis||Yale Undergraduate||2004 - 2006||Stanford MD/PhD|
I worked in the Lombroso Lab from the summer after my Sophomore year (2004) through my graduation (2006). I had only a little research experience, and no wet lab experience, when I first joined the lab, and I credit Paul's mentorship for my transition from a nervous novice to an independent researcher. I ended up enjoying research in general, and the Lombroso Lab in particular, so much that I joined the BS/MS program, which entailed working 20+ hours per week through the last two years of college and writing a thesis. The experience that I gained in planning, executing, and evaluating experiments was extremely helpful preparation for graduate school, and I am sure that my work in the Lombroso Lab played a big part in my success in fellowship applications (I spent a year doing an MPhil in Cambridge after graduation) and in my applications to MD/PhD programs (I am currently a Stanford MSTP student).
The Lombroso Lab is a great place to get basic science training, but I particularly recommend it for students who are interested in a career combining research and clinical work. The Child Study Center is a very special environment, with clinicians and researchers constantly interacting and collaborating together towards a shared goal, and it was very motivating to be mentored by someone who actively sees patients and runs a lab. Paul's example and his encouragement were major factors in my decision to pursue an MD/PhD.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions! firstname.lastname@example.org