Meet our SfN 2021 Prize Draw Winner Wei Wen

Meet our SfN 2021 Prize Draw Winner Wei Wen
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6 months ago

Meet our SfN 2021 Prize Draw Winner Wei Wen

Wei Wen is a postdoc in neuroscience at Brandeis University, Waltham, USA, and is the lucky winner of a brand new iPhone 13 in our SfN 2021 Prize Draw! We chatted to Wei to find out a little more about her research as well as the scientist she admires most. When she found out she was the winner of our prize draw, she told us:

Wow, thank you! I didn’t expect to win! It’s things like unexpected surprises in life that make the journey worthwhile! Wei Wen, Brandeis University, Waltham, USA, Hello Bio SfN 2021 Prize Draw Winner

 

Congratulations Wei! First, can you tell us a bit more about what you're working on at the moment?

I am broadly interested in learning and development, particularly, I am curious how brain microcircuits are able to undergo enormous changes during these times and yet have managed to stay stable. This is achieved by a set of negative feedback control mechanisms termed homeostatic plasticity. Much like how the thermostat keeps the temperature around a comfortable set point, circuits and neurons engage homeostatic plasticity to keep the overall stability of the system so that it will not get overwhelmed. Currently, I am investigating how different forms of homeostatic mechanisms interact with each other and the molecular mechanisms underlying them.

 

What is it about your field of research that gets you most excited?

The sheer beauty that is called a synapse. It is such a minute structure, only tens of nanometers in size, but the complexity and finesse within it never ceases to blow me away.

 

Which scientists working today do you most admire, and why?

My current advisor, Dr. Gina Turrigiano. The way that she interacts with scientific questions is extraordinary, you never leave a conversation with her without learning something new!

 

What do you think are the biggest challenges currently facing life scientists and their work?

I cannot speak for all life scientists, but in terms of neuroscience, I think the most staggering challenge is always the complexity of the brain. This branch of science has evolved over two centuries and has made concrete progress, but there are still so many things that remain obscure to us. Luckily, the advancement in technologies has greatly helped create new methods to tackle the questions that were impossible to answer even twenty years ago!

 

And finally… what is your favourite science quote?

A quote from Dr. Eugene Kennedy has always stayed with me these years: “The anonymity that is the fate of nearly every scientist as the work of one generation blends almost without a trace into that of the next is a small price to pay for its unending progress, the great long-march of human reason. To feel that one has contributed to this splendid enterprise, on however small a scale, is reward enough for labor at the end of the day.”

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Thank you so much Wei! We wish you all the best with your future research.

Connect with Wei:

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