GS: Where are you from?
JD: Birmingham, Alabama
GS: What degree did you/will you receive and when?
JD: I received a BS in Psychology with a Cognitive Science minor in 2002, and am currently pursuing a PhD in Psychology/Behavioral Neuroscience with plans to graduate this year.
GS: How long have you been at UAB?
JD: I've been part of UAB in some form or fashion for a long time. I completed my undergraduate studies here and also worked in clinical pain research at UAB prior to starting graduate school.
GS: What is your research?
JD: Our laboratory studies various aspects of visceral pain, including developmental factors and central nervous system changes involved in conditions such as interstitial cystitis. My research project is focused on the neuroanatomy underlying stress-related modulation of visceral nociception.
GS: What made you choose UAB for your graduate studies?
JD: My pre-graduate school experiences at UAB were very positive, and I enjoy the collaborative, interdisciplinary environment here.
GS: Have you received any awards or honors?
JD: The Gregg Steele Award for Outstanding Graduate Student in Behavioral Neuroscience 2009; Department of Psychology Outstanding Graduate Student 2009
GS: What has been your most rewarding experience at UAB?
JD: I think my most rewarding experience will be graduating! The opportunity to learn from and be part of a dynamic, productive and well-respected research group has been extremely rewarding.
GS: Who was your greatest influence here at UAB and why?
JD: Dr. Tim Ness and Dr. Alan Randich, for providing me with committed mentorship and support. They have helped me develop and hone my scientific skills, and have challenged and inspired me. Dr. Meredith Robbins has also played a great role in my graduate experience.
GS: What is your motivation in your academics/research?
JD: I'm motivated by the idea that while one person may not be able to solve a great problem alone, the contributions of one person alone can become part of the solution.
GS: What are your plans after graduating and for the future?
JD: My immediate plan is to transition into a post-doctoral position where I'll continue studying pain....and work on my long-term plans!
Jennifer’s advice for other graduate students:
Ask questions. Be diligent. Action generates inspiration.