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Yim Rodriguez '14 is one of just 10 international students attending the Munich Brain Course on full scholarship.

Senior neuroscience major earns international scholarship; headed to Munich Brain Course

February 18, 2014

Yim Rodriguez ’14 will represent Earlham College at the Munich Brain Course this spring as one of just 10 international students accepted on full scholarship. 

The weeklong course begins March 24 at Ludwig Maximilian University-Munich’s Institute of Anatomy. LMU’s Graduate School of Systemic Neurosciences is funding the scholarship, which is worth about $2,750. 

“Being selected amongst a large pool of international candidates, from different scientific backgrounds, to attend a globally recognized intensive course is a great honor, and it is really exciting. ” says Rodriguez, a senior neuroscience major. “Long term, I want to be a pediatric brain surgeon, so this course will allow me to learn some new skills and techniques and gain hands-on experience that will help accomplish my goals.” 

During the course, Rodriguez will conduct dissections in small groups of five graduate or undergraduate students and attend lectures in English and German. The lectures are being lead by international brain experts that focus on the thalamus/hypothalamus, sensorimotor system and parietal lobe. 

The course will be Rodriguez’s second intensive research experience at LMU in the last year.

Last summer, he applied for and was accepted into a month-long research program/seminar through the College of Charleston. For two weeks, he studied a variety of topics ranging from the molecular mechanisms for pain management to behavior, with particular emphasis in the amygdala alongside instructors at Berlin’s Charité Medical University. During the next two weeks, he came to LMU-Munich to study methodologies of neuroscience and comparative neurobiology while conducting brain dissections of insects and lower-order animals. 

Rodriguez’s fascination with neuroscience began at Earlham soon after arriving from the United World College in Montezuma, New Mexico. 

In his four years at Earlham, Rodriguez has worked alongside Professor of Biology Bob Rosenberg on a variety of collaborations, including a Ford/Knight Grant-funded project that studies spinal cord injury in lampreys as a way to learn more about improving treatment in humans suffering from the same condition. 

Rodriguez is currently completing independent research of his own doing dissections of the innervations of the cervical and brachial regions and cerebral and upper vasculature with Rosenberg as his adviser. 

“He’s a great mentor and a great teacher,” Rodriguez says of Rosenberg. “If you come up with an idea and if he can tell that you’re interested in it, he will support your initiative”. 

“Bob knows me as a student and as a person,” he says. “He has the energy and willingness to let you explore your own interests.”

— EC —

Earlham College, a national liberal arts college located in Richmond, Indiana, is a "College That Changes Lives." We expect our students to be fully present: to think rigorously, value directness and genuineness, and actively seek insights from differing perspectives. The values we practice at Earlham are rooted in centuries of Quaker tradition, but they also constitute the ideal toolkit for contemporary success. Earlham is one of only 40 national liberal arts colleges ranked among U.S. News and World Reports' "Great Schools at a Great Price."

Brian Zimmerman is director of media relations at Earlham College. He can be reached at (765) 983-1256 and zimmebr@earlham.edu.

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