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Kalen Petersen

Chemical and Physical Biology PhD Candidate, Manus Donahue Lab

Research Area

Exploring Changes in Functional Brain Connectivity in Parkinson’s Disease and Other Neurodegeneration

I am fascinated by the way the brain integrates innumerable sensory, motor, and cognitive functions, both conscious and unconscious, into a holistic understanding of the self and the world. I am curious about how these higher-order mental patterns arise, from the molecular level to the integrated brain, and how they are disrupted in neurodegenerative diseases.

I am presently studying the effects of dopamine replacement therapy on behavior: specifically, how such drugs cause a subset of Parkinson’s patients to experience disruptive impulse control disorder, leading to potentially destructive lifestyle choices.

Faculty Mentor

Daniel Claassen and Manus Donahue

Undergraduate Institution

University of Tulsa