Jessica Belmares-Ortega 

Jessica Belmares is from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Shortly after receiving her MBA from the University of New Mexico, she completed a year as a PREP scholar at the University of New Mexico. Today, she is a graduate student in the Biology Department. Her current research is in understanding cytokine regulation during Toxoplasma gondii infection. Along with becoming a researcher, she also aims to become a mentor for students. As a coordinator of NEURONAL mentoring program, she is committed to supporting early science exploration and providing guidance to establish and achieve related career goals.

Macaiah Shendo

Macaiah Shendo is an undergraduate student at the University of New Mexico, working on his Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Biology. He is also from the Pueblo of Jemez and learned his native language, “Towa” before he learned English. Macaiah advocates for indigenous students everywhere and does his best to support them with their journey through education and scientific learning. His current area of training is in Neuropsychological research and assessment measures, with his long-term goal of becoming a Board-Certified Clinical Neuropsychologist. 

Macaiah is an inspiration to the youth of Jemez and Zia Pueblos. He participates in the science outreach programs.

Ethan Wilson

Ethan C. Wilson is from Upper Fruitland, New Mexico, and earned his B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of New Mexico. After graduating, he joined Dr. Syed‘s Neural Diversity Lab within the Biology department as a Research Assistant. He began working with Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism to understand better how neural circuits are formed from neural stem cells. After being accepted to the PREP program to fund his research, he began investigating the role of a conserved gene, Imp, in regulating proper brain development. Ethan has also been connecting with the local Navajo and Pueblo educators in promoting scientific research opportunities for underrepresented youths through the Pueblo Brain Science program. He has been the main coordinator of various science outreach and education activities among local communities. Ethan is also a co-organizer of the NEURONAL mentoring program.

Matthew Clark

Matthew Clark is a Professor at Bucknell University. He attributes his career as a research scientist to formative experiences during his education and mentorship. He began as a student in the NIGMS-supported Bridges to Baccalaureate program at Pima Community College, where he conducted research under Michael Wells at the University of Arizona, focusing on protein synthesis regulation in mosquitoes. As a Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) scholar at the University of Michigan, he collaborated with Bing Ye on studying Golgi complexes and their role in neuronal function. This experience inspired him to pursue a Ph.D. at the University of Oregon under Chris Doe, focusing on the development of  Drosophila behavior. Dr. Clark's postdoctoral work with Michael Dickinson at Caltech focused on Drosophila flight behavior. Alongside Dr. Syed Mubarak, he co-initiated the “Pueblo Brain Science: Building Diversity in Neuroscience” workshop at the University of New Mexico, where we aim to develop pedagogical and open neuroscience resources to make neuroscience approachable to everyone. 

Krishna Patel

Kehiry Trejo

Aisha Hamid

Adil Wani 

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