Raleigh McElvery was raised on the adage, “Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.” However, as a Neuroscience major at Bowdoin College ’16, she realized that facts can make for an even better story. A self-proclaimed brain zealot, Raleigh once had the chance to see her own brain via MRI scans. But the black and white images left something to be desired. What kind of wiring associates Wednesdays with the smell of freshly baked bread? Or yields a penchant for ice cream but a strong antipathy towards the cold? In an effort to unravel the intricacies of the human brain, Raleigh chose to begin with a smaller, less complex system: the goldfish. At Bowdoin, she researched the fast-acting effects of steroid hormones as they stick to certain areas of the fish brain. Raleigh felt a certain kinship with these tiny teleosts, since things — particularly scientific tidbits — tend to get stuck in her head as well. Consequently, her writing endeavors have included reporting on science-centric events for the Bowdoin Communications Department, investigating the neural basis of fear during a summer in Denmark, and chronicling obesity interventions for the mentally ill with a team from the Geisel School of Medicine. As part of the Communications group at the Broad Institute, Raleigh delved further into the molecular basis of various genetic conditions, communicating findings to the general public. In her spare time, you can find Raleigh challenging drivers as she runs along the Charles River, training her cat to come to a whistle, or creating cubist sculptures from Legos.
Area of Focus
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