Erika Raven (ARCS Foundation Metro Washington Chapter (MWC); Ph.D. candidate, Georgetown Interdisciplinary Program for Neuroscience) was awarded the 2017 United Kingdom (UK) Marshall Sherfield Postdoctoral Fellowship for Brain Iron Deficiency Research for postdoctoral work in the UK. One goal of the prestigious award is to build long-term U.S.-UK scientific links.
Erika’s research focuses on how dietary iron, which is essential to healthy development, contributes to structural and functional changes in the brain during adolescence. She says: “Adolescent females are extremely vulnerable to peripheral iron deficits, and low peripheral iron levels are strongly linked to diminished cognitive, motor and behavioral functions, as well as developmental disorders such as ADHD.”
Her ultimate research goals are to implement imaging techniques to study physical properties of the brain and thus provide better methods to measure developmental change and dysfunction and, ultimately, to enhance diagnosis. The well-published Ph.D. candidate has also received notable recognitions very early in her research career, including the highly competitive National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in 2013 and the Laytham Scholar Award from MWC.
Jane Riddle, Co-President of MWC, says: “It is gratifying to our donors, members, university partners, and scholars that an MWC Scholar received such a distinguished fellowship to study in the United Kingdom. We are pleased and congratulate Erika, her mentors, and Georgetown University. We look forward to hearing about Erika's future accomplishments! Congratulations!”