Doctoral student Eric Winzenried’s research may one day lead to new ways of preventing and treating metabolic disorders like obesity. Working under the mentorship of Professor Suzanne Appleyard in the Department of Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience, Eric is pursuing a PhD in neuroscience.
Eric recently took some time to answer questions about his research and experiences at WSU.
What are you researching at WSU?
My research focuses on how the brain integrates signals from the gut about meal size and content and how that signaling is disrupted by dietary choices. This research is essential for preventing and treating metabolic disorders like obesity.
How has your mentor helped you?
My mentor has been my biggest lifeline while navigating graduate school. She has helped me change how I think about and perform research. She has also worked with me to hone my scientific writing skills.
Why did you decide to complete your doctorate at WSU?
When selecting graduate schools, I was looking for a school in a small- to medium-sized city with a mid-sized graduate program. I think the mid-size program provides a unique mentorship environment, where all the professors in the department know my name and want me to succeed. When I interviewed, I was impressed with the facilities, especially the amount of departmental equipment available for use.
What has been your favorite thing about WSU?
My favorite thing at WSU has been the close-knit graduate program. Unlike other programs, there is no sense of competition. When I have questions about my research, I always feel like I can reach out to other students for help.
What about WSU has surprised you the most?
Despite its relatively small size, I have been surprised at the number of things to do in the Pullman/Moscow area.
What do you hope to do after graduate school?
After completing my PhD, I plan to complete a post-doctoral fellowship and continue studying the neuronal control of food intake. My long-term career goal is to become a professor at a research institution that will allow me to continue performing research while also teaching and mentoring graduate and undergraduate students.