Category: Spotlight interviews

Postdoc Spotlight: Ziyong Liu, MD, PhD


Zhiyong Liu, PhD, learned about the devastating effects neurodegenerative diseases have on patients and their families firsthand during his senior year of college, when he worked in a clinical research lab. Now, as a postdoctoral associate within the lab of Andy West, PhD, he’s performing translational research to develop new treatments for one of those …

Continue reading

Student Spotlight: Alexa Putka


This week’s “Spotlight” interview shines on Alexa Putka, an undergraduate researcher in the lab of Audrey Dickey, PhD. Putka talks to us about the passion, puzzle-solving, and collaboration that motivate her work to help better understand and reduce the effects of Huntington’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. She also talks about how her recent research fellowship …

Continue reading

Profiles in Brain Sciences: Andrew West, PhD

Even as our understanding of how factors like genetics, metabolomics, and the environment contribute to Parkinson’s disease has rapidly advanced over the past 20 years, there are still no disease-modifying therapies for Parkinson’s or almost any other neurodegenerative disease. The Duke Center for Neurodegeneration and Neurotherapeutics’ Andrew West, PhD, is working to change that. For …

Continue reading

Faculty Spotlight: Constanza Cortes, PhD

Constanza Cortes, PhD

Despite the fact that it’s the center of all human thought and consciousness, much about the human brain, such as how it ages, or how it communicates with the rest of the body, remains unexplored. Constanza Cortes, PhD, hopes to change that. In this Faculty Spotlight interview, Cortes talks to us about her research on the …

Continue reading

Staff Spotlight: Pawel Switonski, PhD

Pawel Switonski, PhD, became hooked on science as a high-school student, when he read how a 19th-century botanist used a prism, algae, and bacteria to discover the spectra of light used in photosynthesis. Now as part of the lab of Al La Spada, MD, PhD, Switonski is investigating the development and origins of neurodegenerative diseases. In …

Continue reading