Tessa Popay

Tessa Popay

Country: New Zealand, 2013
Mentor: Randy Blakely
I have recently completed a Bachelor of Science specialising in Biomedical Science at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. In this degree I focussed on cellular and molecular biomedicine, as well as pursuing my interests in neuroscience and genetics. In 2013 I will continue my education at the University of Auckland in the form of a Bachelor of Science with Honours, again specialising in Biomedical Science. For this programme, I will complete a dissertation that looks at the molecular mechanism by which anaesthesia disrupts the biological clock using Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism. After my honours year, I intend to pursue a PhD in either the US or the UK.

The VISRA programme is an amazing opportunity to experience US culture, student life and learn more about the education system, particularly graduate school. Nashville is definitely the best city I have ever been to and I am really enjoying the kindness and approachability of the locals. The Vanderbilt campus is beautiful and is very large compared to my home university! During my time at Vanderbilt I am working in the laboratory of Randy Blakely, in which I will be using the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans to identify genes involved in dopamine transport. I am really looking forward to the rest of the VISRA programme and the research that I will be doing.

*Tessa enters Vanderbilt's Interdisciplinary Graduate Program (IGP) in Fall 2014 and will be supported by the Vanderbilt International Scholar Program for the next two years.