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QC Junior Josie Cooke Named a Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory-CUNY Summer Research Scholar Fellow!

April 13, 2017

Photo credit: Alia Collins-Friedrichs

Josephine Cooke (Josie), a junior in the Transfer Honors Program at Queens College, of the City University of New York, was recently named a Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory-CUNY Summer Research Scholar Fellow! She will be joining a group of 20 NSF funded undergraduate students who were selected amongst 800 applicants to participate in the 10-week Research Experience for Undergraduates program at the CSHL campus on Long Island. “It’s a huge honor,” said Josie.

Before attending Queens College and studying there to receive a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Neuroscience, Josie was pursuing a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts in dance at Fordham University. That may seem like a huge leap between concentrations to some but to Josie, who has been balancing her love for dance and her fascination with the brain since adolescence, the two go hand-and-hand. “I’ve always been interested in the brain. I used to want to be a neurosurgeon, actually,” she said. Her deep desire to “understand why we do what we do, and what’s going on in our brain that makes us do what we do” is what keeps her intrigued and focused on research possibilities.

After experiencing an injury in February 2016, Josie decided to amend her plan to study dance and neuroscience simultaneously to focus solely on her Bachelor’s degree. That obstacle, however, only made her desire to combine her interests stronger. She plans to pursue neurorehabilitation and study how dance can be used as a therapy tool, for people who have chronic neurodegenerative disorders, like Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer disease. This form of therapy is also a way for people who’ve experienced loss of their fine motor skills and mobility to regain some control over their lives. Participating in the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory-CUNY Fellowship brings Josie one step closer to this goal.

The fellowship, which begins June 12, 2017, provides students with an opportunity to learn lab techniques, strengthen their data analysis skills, practice presenting their research to an audience, and more. It’s “a great opportunity to spend time learning what it’s like to be a researcher.” At Cold Spring Harbor Lab, the worlds foremost research institution focusing on the study of DNA and its application to disease and therapies, Josie will spend the summer working with Dr. Florin Albeanu, a neuroscientist who studies the olfactory bulb and olfactory cortex of mice.

To learn more about Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, visit:


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