Jane Doherty is a junior at Colorado Academy. Her love for learning about the brain grew from middle school science fair projects. Her 6th grade project on gender differences in executive functioning / impulse control sparked her interest in neuroscience. This led her to place first in the 2015 Denver Metro Science Fair, to write research proposals on extra-linguistic behaviors and mirror neurons, conduct research on high schoolers’ sleep habits, to have interesting behavioral science discussions with her mother, to read Scientific American Mind, and really any behavioral science book she can get her hands on. Jane is particularly interested in the relationship between language and the brain. This past summer she took a three week-course on Sociolinguistics at Stanford University and hopes to continue to learn more on the neurobiology of language. In May of 2017, Jane spoke at the Girls Empowerment in STEM conference. She spoke to middle school girls about how being a scientist lies in the ability to constantly ask questions and make connections, and to stay curious. As Director, Jane hopes to support and celebrate this curiosity and continue the amazing work of the Synapse Project.
Megumi Sano is a senior at Southbank International School in London. Her passion for neuroscience stems from two experiences: her first encounter with a slice of a mouse brain during a lab internship, and a lecture by Professor Steven Pinker on the marvelous journey from neurons to consciousness. Megumi works at the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development in autism research and is a member of the Society for the Neurobiology of Language. She represented England at the 2016 International Brain Bee World Championship, a neuroscience competition for high school students and is organizing the 2017 English Brain Bee. She is also a Board Member of the International Youth Neuroscience Association (IYNA) and is part of the Executive Committee of the MYELIN Initiative, a joint project between the IYNA and the Synapse Project which encourages neuroscience education in high school classrooms. As Director of the Synapse Project, Megumi aims not only to inspire students to enter the field of neuroscience but also to become inspired by their vibrant aspirations.
Evan Doherty is a recent high school graduate from Colorado Academy. She is interested in biological sciences, and is specifically fascinated by neuroscience, genetics and nutrition. Evan’s biology classes as well as her mother’s neuroscience lab work initially piqued her interest in the brain, but she became even more excited about it after volunteering at the Aspen Brain Forum for two summers. Evan will work to continue the momentum of the Synapse Project by updating its resources and expanding its outreach with Megumi, Grace, and Jamie.
Grace Greenwald founded The Synapse Project in 2011 when she was 15 years old. She became interested in neuroscience at a young age while sitting at the dinner table next to her grandmother, Glenda Greenwald, Founder of the Aspen Brain Forum, who told mesmerizing stories about the latest advancements in studying the brain. Grace’s goal became making “everything brain-related” available to girls of all ages like herself, and to get them talking and thinking about the brain in arenas of medicine, psychology, technology, education, and child development. Her vision for The Synapse Project was to connect young women interested in studying neuroscience to professors, scientists, and mentors who would generously donate their time and enthusiasm to ignite interest in the brain and help the next generation succeed in this rewarding career. Grace began her career path volunteering as an intern at exciting neuroscience-based organizations such as Brain Highways and The Goldie Hawn Foundation’s MindUp Program. She went on to work and have amazing learning experiences in neuroscience at the Salk Institute and Harvard University’s iLab. Grace is currently in the Class of 2019 at Stanford University.
Jamie Cavanaugh has been involved with The Synapse Project for a number of years, executing various projects and making sure day-to-day operations run smoothly. In addition to this position, Jamie has been actively pursuing her own career in neuroscience, with a primary focus in neuropsychology. This has included working as a psychometrist in a thriving neuropsychology clinic, acting as Project Manager for multiple federally-funded grants studying abnormal brain anatomy and function, and completing her Masters degree. Her primary interests involve the junction between neuropsychology and complementary medicine, a field in which she aims to complete her PhD in upcoming years.