She wants to complete her doctorate in Neuroscience, and has been honored with the means to do sothe Gates Millennium Scholarship.
Gates Millennium Scholar, Psychology-Neuroscience
Sexual attraction and the social attachments that often follow are two of the most powerful driving forces of human behavior, writes Neuroscience Professor Zuoxin Wang.
Anlys Olivera, an Honors in the Major student, has been working with Dr. Wang, whose research interests include social and drug reward interactions.
He explains, “There is little doubt that the ability to form intense social attachments with a mate (pair bonding) has a biological architecture with definable molecular and neural mechanisms. Because pair bonding and drug reward are regulated by very similar neural mechanisms, and because both result in enduring changes in behavior, we hypothesized that addiction to drugs of abuse and pair bonding may act on the same brain-reward circuitry, and that the two may interact with each other.”
Anlys is now gathering data in Dr. Wang’s lab for her Honor's thesis on drug addiction and social behavior in pup prairie voles. This is the perfect animal, says the professor, to test the hypothesis. Having appeared on the President’s List and the Dean's List for the prior seven semesters, Anlys has proven she possesses the academic prowess to perform such research.
She wants to complete her doctorate in Neuroscience, and has been honored with the means to do sothe Gates Millennium Scholarship. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation established the scholarship to encourage students to complete their undergraduate degrees and to continue on, earning master’s and doctoral degrees in those disciplines in which minorities are underrepresented.