Sasha Devore, a postdoctoral fellow in neurobiology and behavior, has been awarded one of five L'Oréal USA Fellowships for Women in Science 2011.
Selected from a competitive pool of candidates by an interdisciplinary review panel and a jury of nine eminent scientists and engineers, the fellows were selected for their "exceptional academic records and intellectual merit, clearly articulated research proposals with the potential for scientific advancement, and outstanding letters of recommendation from advisers and overall excellence." The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) managed the peer-review process.
Devore, who earned her undergraduate (2001), master's (2005) and Ph.D. degrees (2009) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a neuroscientist in the field of sensory neurobiology whose postdoctoral advisers are Christiane Linster, professor of neurobiology and behavior, and David M. Smith, assistant professor of psychology.
With the new fellowship, Devore will employ techniques to selectively activate and record from large ensembles of neurons in behaving animals to study the function of feedback pathways in sensory processing. Numerous neurological diseases and disorders are linked with dysfunction in the brain's feedback pathways and are typically accompanied by impairments in sensory processing. Devore hopes that her experiments will lead to improved therapeutic interventions, in addition to providing important insight into the regulation of information processing in the brain.
In addition to receiving a grant, fellowship recipients are offered professional development workshops facilitated by AAAS and networking opportunities with accomplished female leaders in corporate, academic, governmental and scientific fields.