Q&A with neuroscience undergraduate Shane Watson

It seems Shane Watson was born at the wrong time, since it’s unlikely he will see humanity explore space on a grand scale. So, for this neuroscience student in Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience, the human brain will have to do. “I’ve always been very science orientated, and I want to use this innate curiosity to explore the brain, which, despite decades of intense research, may still be the most complex biological organ known to humans.”

Where are you from and where did you graduate high school?  
I was born in Kansas, but I spent most of my life in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley. I graduated from Asotin High School with a class size of about 50 people, meaning WSU’s size was a bit daunting at first. However, I quickly adapted and have greatly enjoyed my time at college.

What are some of your favorite hobbies?
My favorite hobby is to play video games, and while I admit it is very nerdy, it has led to some of my fondest memories in college. Before COVID, I loved attending events/tournaments held on campus and made lots of friends I would never have made otherwise. I enjoy plenty of other activities as well, such as reading, rock climbing, and spending time outdoors. 

What’s your favorite thing about or around WSU?
Though WSU may be surrounded by wheat fields, the area has a distinct beauty to it, and you don’t have to go far to find mountains, rivers, and unique landscapes. In fact, the Pacific Northwest is a very special and beautiful region that I think everyone should visit at some point in their lives. Though I may leave the PNW after graduation, I’m happy that I had the opportunity to live here.

What’s your favorite course you’ve taken at WSU?
My sophomore year I took Biology 107, which is an introductory course in cell biology and genetics. This class gave me that ‘click’ I had been looking for by helping me discover my passion for science, which led to my subsequent decision to major in neuroscience and pursue a research career.

What are your career goals? 
After I graduate this semester, I plan to attend graduate school to earn a Ph.D. in neuroscience and enter a research career. Eventually, I’d like to be a neuroscientist running my own lab and explore some facet of the brain and behavior that will lead to better therapeutic treatments for debilitating diseases.