Matthew Everett is a senior in BCMB starting his fourth year of research in the lab of Keerthi Krishnan where he investigates synaptic plasticity in a mouse model of CDKL5 disorder, which is a rare neurodevelopmental disorder. In humans, this disorder is characterized by early-onset seizures. For this, he specifically examines the role of perineuronal nets and synaptic plasticity in the brain of mice and their relationship to the onset of CDKL5 disorder.
Everett won the Silver Award and the Division of Natural Sciences Award for Excellence for his poster presentation at the 2020 Exhibition of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement (EURēCA) event hosted by the UT Office of Research and Engagement. He also won the 2020 Carolyn Fite award from the BCMB department and an Award of Excellence at EURēCA in 2019. His research in the Krishnan lab is leading to a publication where he will be co-first author.
“I hope more students get involved in research to expand their technical experience outside of the classroom, especially at the beginning of their undergraduate career,” Everett says. “Professors in the BCMB department want to mentor undergraduates, which can include anything from weekly literature discussions to daily work in the lab. This also helps in class. For instance, learning PCR by performing it in the lab made me an expert as I entered the genetics classroom. I would not have done so well in my undergraduate coursework without the Krishnan Lab. Being able to apply what you learn in the classroom to research has helped me become a better undergraduate researcher, and it will help me in my career.”