Dr. James (Tim) McKenna gave a presentation to a large group students and faculty from the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience where he focused on how the latest STEM techniques can be used to answer questions about the brain and behavior. His talk covered not only innovative techniques in his own research, but also those that he thinks are most exciting for the future of science. For example, Dr. McKenna showed his lab uses optogenetics techniques to understand and even control sleep and wake behavior in a mouse model. He also provided a glimpse into the future by showing pioneering research on controlling body movement through thought and retinal implant technology. Dr. McKenna also offered some words of wisdom for students who plan to pursue a career in science in psychology or neuroscience.
Dr. McKenna is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and Director of the Neuroanatomy Section of the Laboratory of Neuroscience. His research investigates sleep-wake regulation and disorders in animal models, employing neuroanatomical, neurochemical, electrophysiological, and behavioral measures.