• Marsha-Kay Hutchinson, Howard University student, studying breast cancer in Dr. Marion Sewer's Pharmacology lab
  • Joy Rosa Jackson, Howard University Student, conducting cardiovascular research in Dr. Kelly Frazer’s genetics lab
  • Present your research at the UC San Diego Summer Research Conference
  • Learn about the UC San Diego graduate school application process from distinguished faculty
  • Attend workshops and lectures about graduate school at UC San Diego
  • Work hard and have fun in beautiful San Diego
  • Meet other HBCU students
  • Improve your scores with a GRE preparation course
  • Make new friends while building trust at the UC San Diego Challenge Course
  • Make new friends from all over the country and world

Leadership

Gentry Patrick (PI)

Dr. Gentry Patrick is an Associate Professor of Biology, Vice Chair of the Neurobiology Section, and Director of Mentorship and Diversity in the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of California San Diego.  His lab is interested in the molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity and neurodegenerative disease.  Specifically his lab focuses on the role of protein degradation via the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) on synaptic remodeling and function.  His lab has made important discoveries which elucidate how important components of the UPS are regulated at synapses and how this regulation is critical to the development, maintenance and remodeling of synapses in the brain.  Recently, his lab has discovered that the 26S proteasome is itself dynamically regulated by neuronal activity involving the plasticity kinase CaMKIIa and that this regulation is important for synaptic function.  His group has recently created models of this cis-regulatory mechanism for control of proteasome function in mice and anticipate these tools to generate significant insight into how altered proteasomal function contributes to age-related and neurodegenerative disease.

 

Dr. Patrick received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1999 after working in the laboratory of Dr. Li-Huei Tsai. He was a Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation and a United Negro College Fund/Merck postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Erin Schuman at the California Institute of Technology. Dr. Patrick joined the faculty in 2004.

 

Gary Cottrell (Co-PI)

Dr. Gary Cottrell is a Professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department at UC San Diego.  His research is strongly interdisciplinary and deals with neural networks as a computational model applied to problems in cognitive science and artificial intelligence, engineering and biology.  Dr. Cottrell's main interest is Cognitive Science, in particular, building working models of cognitive processes and using them to explain psychological or neurological processes. In recent years, he has focused upon unsupervised feature learning (modeling precortical and cortical coding), face & object processing, visual salience, and visual attention. He has also worked in the areas of modeling psycholinguistic processes, such as language acquisition, reading, and word sense disambiguation. 

 

Dr. Cottrell proudly leads his research unit, Gary's Unbelievable Research Unit, or GURU for short.  Recent projects have included the SUN model of stimulus-driven and task-driven visual and aural attention, sparse principal component analysis, unsupervised feature learning from natural stimuli, modeling transsaccadic evidence accumulation for object classification, investigating interhemispheric connectivity, and seeking to understand the mechanisms that underlie face processing.

 

In addition to serving at the Principal Investigator for the Pathways to UC San Diego project, Dr. Cottrell also served as the director of the NSF-sponsored Temporal Dynamics of Learning Center which involved 40 PI's at 17 institutions across 3 countries, director of the Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Cognitive Science, and a co-PI of the Perceptual Expertise Network.  

 

Dr. Cottrell received his PhD. in 1985 from the University of Rochester under James F. Allen (thesis title: A connectionist approach to word sense disambiguation). He then did a postdoc with David E. Rumelhart at the Institute of Cognitive Science, UCSD, until 1987, when he joined the CSE Department.

 

 

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