#Scifund Round 3 is underway and each day I will highlight a new proposal from the Challenge to give you a more in-depth understanding of each participant and their research.
Today I present Alisa Woods and the Darie lab! Their research looks into the development of a diagnostic test for autism.
Tell us about yourself, where you are from, and where you see yourself going.
Dr. Woods is a research assistant Professor from Long Island, NY. Our group is from all over the world. Katie, Kelly and Jarrod (our undergraduates) and are from upstate NY, Dr. Darie is from Romania, Dr. Roy is from India and our PhD students are from Poland (Izabela), Cameroon (Armand) and India (Sapan). We want to develop our research so that we have defined biomarkers which we can then correlate to behavioral measures in autism.
How did you get involved in your research project?
Dr. Woods is a neurobiologist and Dr. Darie is a biochemist so it was normal for us to gravitate toward studying the biochemistry of a behavioral disorder.
Why is your research important to you? Why should others fund it?
Our research bridges the fields of biochemistry and psychology. It is truly interdisciplinary which is unusual. We also feel that if we are successful we may be able to develop the first biological clinical diagnostic for a psychiatric problem.
Do you have a favorite story that came from working on your research project?
We’ve done a lot of crazy things to keep our research going. Basically, we’re willing to go to enormous lengths to continue this project. It’s hard to think of a favorite story.
Why did you decide to particpate in the SciFund Challenge?
Because we have been applying for grants and it is very difficult in the current economy. We are still trying but we really need money to continue data collection now.
What was the most difficult aspect of building your SciFund Proposal? What was your favorite?
We had absolutely no idea of how to create a video and none of us are that great on camera.
Tell us something random. Something funny. Something borrowed. Something blue.
Dr. Darie came from Romania to his PhD studentship in Germany by hitchhiking. He got a ride from a truck driver. We think that’s kind of interesting.
Thanks Darie Lab for sharing your science! And to save you time from scrolling up, you can read about thier project and contribute here.