My name is Laura, and I am currently a 5th year Neuroscience PhD candidate at The University of Illinois at Chicago

Over the past 5 years, I’ve worked under the guidance of Dr. Amynah Pradhan on behavioral and molecular projects related to migraine and the delta opioid receptor. I’ve characterized a novel mouse model of post-traumatic headache, and also focused on demonstrating the effectiveness of delta opioid receptor agonists in multiple headache models. If you’d like to find out more about our published work, please check out each project under the “Projects” tab.

You may be wondering, “Laura, why spend 5 years of your life poking mice?” And really, the answer is simple. I love the brain. Why we do what we do is fascinating, and figuring out a piece of that puzzle has always been something that I wanted to do. Although my mouse-poking days will be over once I defend my PhD, I do plan on continuing to learn and translate science for y’all through science writing. If you’d like to collaborate on a science communication project, please contact me! I especially love making infographics to accompany my writing and presentations.

Eiza Photography
Photo Credit: Eiza Photography

When I’m not nerding out on neuroscience, I’m spending time with my family. Above you’ll find my wife, an active duty U.S. Marine, and not pictured is our fluffy rescue kitty, Candy Cane. 

In addition to being an LGBT military spouse, I am so lucky that I get to also be a Pat Tillman Scholar. I am a huge advocate for our active duty military, veterans, and especially my fellow military spouses. The following quote from Marie Tillman resonates with me, and it truly inspires me to live a life that is meaningful. I hope you’ll follow along with my sporadic posts about science, military life, and crazy cats.

“When Pat asked me to live, he didn’t mean just that I should travel and have fun, although that was certainly part of it. He also meant that there’s a weight to all of our lives, and he didn’t want me to be frivolous with mine. It was a tragedy that Pat’s life – while fully lived – was cut short. But it’s also a tragedy to live a long life that isn’t meaningful.”

Marie Tillman
Photo Credit: Eiza Photography