John Smerdon

I am a Ph.D. candidate and NIH/NINDS Kirschstein-NRSA predoctoral fellow (F31) in the laboratory of Dr. Hynek Wichterle at Columbia University Medical Center. I attended Washington State University where I received a B.S. in Neuroscience and a B.S. in Biochemistry/Biophysics in 2012. My long term research interests as an electrophysiologist include developing a comprehensive knowledge of how electrical tuning in neuronal subtypes lead to their unique action potential firing properties and in turn, make them selectively vulnerable to human diseases.  My current project aims to uncover pathophysiological mechanisms in models of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease).

Along with my colleagues, I founded SMRI after observing the difficulties for disadvantaged youth to gain exposure to laboratory research.  We aimed to create a channel for these extraordinary students to experience working in a lab and build confidence in their abilities to greatly contribute to cutting edge research.  The diversity, passion, and unique perspectives that these students bring to the STEM fields will strengthen our capability to tackle the complex questions and problems of tomorrow.