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Talia Lichtenberg BA ’20 Named 2019 Goldwater Scholar

Talia Lichtenberg BA ’20Talia Lichtenberg BA ’20 Credit: Nina Johnson

Pamplin Fellow Talia Lichtenberg BA ’20 is the recipient of a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, the preeminent award for undergraduates in the sciences, engineering, and mathematics.

A native of West Linn, Oregon, she is majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology with the intent of pursuing a PhD in molecular biology, specializing in Alzheimer’s disease and related neurodegenerative diseases.

“Right now, I am feeling incredibly grateful to all of my professors who have encouraged me to continue with research, and especially to my mentor Associate Professor of Biology and Program Director of Neuroscience Tamily Weissman,” says Lichtenberg. “I am excited to pursue my thesis work in Dr. Weissman’s lab on brain development.”

A research assistant in Weissman-Unni’s zebrafish lab, Lichtenberg says she finds the mechanisms that underlie brain function fascinating. Through studying biochemistry and molecular biology, she hopes to gain the tools to help better explore these mechanisms.

“In the Weissman Lab, I am a part of a team that is working to understand brain development,” says Lichtenberg. “In early brain development, neural stem cells generate neurons, and over time this proliferation leads to brain expansion. Interestingly, there is also a small amount of cell death that occurs during this same period that we think is a vital part of ensuring correct brain size. My research is focused on understanding the mechanisms that regulate this cell death.”

Lichtenberg is one of 496 Goldwater Scholars selected for the 2019–20 academic year. Her win brings the total number of Goldwaters won by L&C students to 16 in the past decade.

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