Ernesto Gabriel Cabezas-Bou

Neuroscience PhD Candidate, Science Communicator & Entrepreneur

As a doctoral student in Neuroscience, I focus on basic and clinical research areas applicable to Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Spinal Cord diseases. My advanced biomedical training has enabled me with the skillset to effectively interpret and communicate scientific data, occupy leadership roles and manage longterm projects that led to successful collaborations and a strong professional network. I aim to transfer these skills into a career path that helps inform and create better therapeutic strategies to improve the quality of life in patients suffering neurological disorders. As a Science Communicator & Advocate I endeavor to make science useful and accessible to everyone by teaching through short online videos and in-person seminars in a language that any audience can relate and understand. As an entrepreneur I created LEOPARD X COMPANY , an online store that offers Technology, LifeStyle and Fashion products.

My interest in Neuroscience began as an undergraduate student at the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras Campus. Under the mentorship of Dr. Manuel Díaz-Ríos , I started my graduate studies using the isolated Spinal Cord (SC) preparation to elucidate a previously unrecognized central pattern generator (CPG). By isolating thoracic segments of the SC, I discovered an autonomous rhythm, which I pharmacologically manipulated to dissect the excitatory and inhibitory components of the circuit dynamics. This work supported my successful application to the Neural Systems & Behavior summer course at Marine Biological Laboratories (MBL, Summer 2017).

During this course, I developed a project with Dr. Daniel Colón-Ramos from Yale University studying how sensory neurons in animals can create the memory of a temperature preference and generate biased behaviors using calcium imaging in freely moving animals. I was awarded a Post-Course Research Award to continue these experiments at Yale with Dr. Colón-Ramos. While pursuing these research endeavors, Hurricanes Irma and Maria struck Puerto Rico damaging my home and local research facilities. I leveraged on this collaboration to continue my studies at Yale and turn this research project into my thesis project. I welcomed this opportunity to study in a thriving research environment and develop my scientific skill set while expanding my proffesional network. Currently, I'm using novel Deep Learning & Neural Imaging approaches to understand how the activity of sensory neurons encodes a memory and influences goal directed behaviors in freely moving C. elegans navigating a thermal gradient.

More recently I have been awarded the HHMI Gilliam Fellowship & the F-31 NRSA from the National Institute of Health, National Institute of Neuroloigical Disorders and Stroke (NIH NINDS).