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Experiences & Opportunities

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Esther Penick

Associate Professor of Biology; Chair of Neuroscience

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



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There are ample opportunities to enhance your studies in neuroscience through independent research, off-campus study, and internships. In fact, all Knox students undertake an experiential learning project as part of their education. These programs are integral to a Knox education, teaching you how to apply your skills in real world situations.

Research and Creative Work

Many of our majors—and minors—pursue College Honors or other research and creative projects. Some even present or perform their work at national and international conferences. Here are a few recent projects:

  • “Changes in cortisol, alpha and theta oscillations by focused-attention and open monitoring meditation” Riya Dahal ‘20
  • “Sex differences in the role of kappa opioid receptors in withdrawal from methamphetamine (in a rat model).” Daniel Monnier ‘18
  • "The Effects of Approach and Avoidance Motivation on Category Learning," Emily Rose Corwin-Renner '17.
  • "Differences in Social Decision Making in Men and Women with Borderline Personality Disorder," Dylan Steven Stahl '17.
  • "Techniques for Studying Introvert Regeneration in Themiste lageniformes (Phylum Sipuncula): A Fluorescent and Scanning Electron Microscopy Study," Hatim Mustafa Mustaly '13.
  • "The Effects of Painful Stimuli on Genital and Subjective Sexual Arousal in Dyspareunic, Masochistic, and Typical Women," Victoria Agnieszka Klimaj '13.
  • "Gd-DTPA Enhanced in vivo Imaging of Xenopus laevis Development Using an Ultra-Compact MRI," Kelli Rae Huebner '13.
  • "An Investigation into the Role of Estrogen Receptors in the Modulation of Synaptic Transmission within the Nucleus Accumbens," Jacquelyn Mares '11.
  • "An Examination of a Rat Model of Pediatric Depression and the Long-Term Effects of Administering Chronic Treatment of Paroxetine to Juvenile Rats," Kathryn Nellett '11.
  • "The Effects of Oral Contraceptives on Olfactory Senstivity and Pheromonal Perception," Katy Renfro '11.

Study Abroad

Knox offers you plenty of opportunities to begin exploring the world while still a student. Almost 50% of Knox students participate in study abroad and consider their studies abroad to be the highlight of their college experiences. Recent study abroad programs attended by neuroscience students include:

  • University of St. Andrews, Scotland
  • University of Magdeburg, Germany
  • DIS Copenhagen, Denmark

Internships and Off-Campus Research

There's no better way to explore the possibilities of life after Knox than internships.

In past years, Knox neuroscience students have conducted off-campus research at the Burdenko Neurosurgery Institute, Russia; Lobatse Mental Health Hospital, Botswana; Northwestern University (Alzheimer's Research); and Medical University of North Carolina (Multiple Sclerosis research). Other recent internships and off-campus research include:

  • Medical assistantship, University of Michigan, working on stem cell research -- axonal guidance during neural development. Andy Prendergast '07.
  • HHMI medical assistantship (HHMA), University of Wisconsin, Madison, working on animal models of epilepsy. M. Leanne Lilly '06.
  • Internship with Dr. Marc Katchen, Central Illinois Neurosciences, Galesburg, Illinois, working with deep brain stimulation as a mechanism for treating Parkinson's patients. Javid Malik '05 and Erin McCune '03. CJ (Caitlyn) Morgan ‘17.

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Printed on Sunday, June 23, 2024