Grand Prize Winner
Christopher Zimmerman received his undergraduate degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and his Ph.D. from the University of California, San Francisco. His thesis research focused on the neural mechanisms that govern thirst and drinking behavior. Dr. Zimmerman is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, where he continues to study the neural processes underlying motivated behaviors.
Read his Grand Prize winning essay here.
Tara LeGates received a B.S. in Biopsychology from Rider University and her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where she established the importance of the strength and plasticity of hippocampus-nucleus accumbens synapses in reward-related behavior. Dr. LeGates is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). Her lab studies how neuronal circuits integrate information to regulate behavior and their alterations in psychiatric disorders.
Read her prize winning essay here.
Riccardo Beltramo received his undergraduate degree from the University of Turin and his Ph.D. from the Italian Institute of Technology. After his doctoral training, Dr. Beltramo joined the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of California San Diego and the University of California San Francisco, where he is completing his postdoctoral work. He studies sensory perception in the mouse visual system, focusing on understanding how cortical and subcortical neural circuits process visual information to drive behavior.
Read his prize winning essay here.