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Samuel Kwon: Albert Lehninger Award
Faculty members with scientific excellence, collaborative environment and state-of-the-art infrastructure were some of the reasons why I chose [Johns Hopkins].
Mentor: Daniel O'Connor, M.A., Ph.D.
The cerebral cortex plays a vital role in how we process and perceive sensory information. Using rodent somatosensory systems as a model, I found that neurons in sensory cortical areas contain perceptual information, and characterized how sensory information becomes progressively more perception-related across successive cortical areas.
Why did you choose Johns Hopkins for your work?
Johns Hopkins has a long tradition of excellence in the field of cortical sensory processing, going back to the pioneering work of Vernon Mountcastle. Faculty members with scientific excellence, collaborative environment and state-of-the-art infrastructure were some of the reasons why I chose to come here.
What does receiving this award mean to you?
It is a great honor to receive this award. It is exciting to see my work getting recognition in an elite scientific community like Johns Hopkins.
What contributed to your project's success?
Self-motivation is the key. Some of the experiments performed as part of the project required quite a bit of troubleshooting and optimization. It would have been impossible to go through all of that without keeping myself motivated. Another key to success was excellent support from the O'Connor lab. My colleagues in the O'Connor lab are second to none when it comes to scientific rigor and team spirit.
What thoughts do you have about Young Investigator's Day itself?
I think it‘s an exciting opportunity to share one's research and network with other students and fellows.
What has been your best or most memorable experience while at Hopkins?
I still remember the day I succeeded in performing the first in vivo imaging experiment in an awake-behaving mouse. It was one of the most exciting moments.
What are your plans over the next year or so?
I am starting my own lab next year.
What is one unique fact about you?
I have lived in many different parts of the world — South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and several different cities in the U.S. Because of this, my accent reflects a bit of all of these different places.