Visitor of the Week: Janani Sundararajan


Meet Janani Sundararajan of Duke University. A graduate student in Richard Mooney's lab, Janani is on campus for the Imaging Structure & Function in the Nervous System course where she is gaining hands-on experience on the latest imaging techniques and technologies from the ground up. 

What are your research interests? What are you working on?
I am currently working on how movements affect our ability to hear and the neural circuitry underlying changes in auditory perception during resting and movement.  

Was there something specific about the Imaging Structure & Function in the Nervous System course that drew you to apply? 
I was most interested in learning about the latest imaging techniques in neuroscience that I could apply to my work. I particularly wanted to learn more about intrinsic imaging, calcium imaging and photo stimulation techniques to look at the activity of different subpopulations of auditory cortical neurons in different behavioral states.

What is your key takeaway from the course?
I have learnt a lot of concepts in the course that are directly applicable to my current and future work. The course focuses on training students on both the basics of optics and the current cutting-edge imaging techniques in neuroscience including confocal and 2-photon microscopy which are very useful to my research work. It has also given me the opportunity to try out these techniques in the practical sessions and learn about digital image processing methods.

How many CSHL courses have you attended? How about CSHL meetings? 
This is my first CSHL course. I am really enjoying it so far and hope to attend a CSHL meeting in the future.

If someone curious in attending your course asked you for feedback or advice on it, what would you tell him/her?
I would absolutely encourage anyone interested in this field to take the course. A great thing about the course is that it is very interactive. The course itself is interactive and we are presented with opportunities to meet and speak with a number of experts in the field. 

What do you like most about your time at CSHL?
The casual environment which lets you interact with other members in the scientific community. Also, the scenic location of the campus with the harbor on one side and greenery on the other is very beautiful and refreshing.

Janani received a stipend from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to cover a portion of her course tuition. On behalf of Janani, we would like to thank HHMI for supporting and enabling our young scientists to attend a CSHL course where they expand their skills, knowledge, and network.