Matt Gaidica

Admission Year:

B.S. in Electrical Engineering, Kettering University, 2010

Admission year: 2014

Advisor: Dr. Daniel Leventhal

Current project: I use in-vivo microwire electrophysiology and optogenetics in rats to better understand how the “motor thalamus,” a critical node in the primary motor loop, shapes neural activity during behavior.

Other interests: As an adjunct to my primary work, I am interested in how the motor system reacts and adapts to high altitude exposure and other extreme environments.

Teaching experience: MCDB 352: Neurobiology of Sensory and Motor Systems (Winter 2016); Phys 405/406: Extreme Physiology (Fall 2017).

Honors, grants & awards: Neuroscience Graduate Program Award for Innovative Research (2017); First Place Poster, Junior Scientist Category, International Hypoxia Symposia (2017); Harvard Travellers Club Research Grantee (2016); Forbes 30 Under 30, Science (2016); Kettering University Young Alumni Award (2015); NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Honorable Mention (2015).

Service & leadership: Science Olympia, Pioneer High School Volunteer (2017); Project Healthy Schools Health Ambassador (2017); Rock Steady Boxing (Parkinson’s Boxing Class) Coach/Volunteer (2017); Spooky Science Day, Michigan Science Center Volunteer (2016); FEMMES After School Activities Night, Adams STEM Elementary School Volunteer (2016); UROP Student Seminar, University of Michigan Invited Speaker (2016); Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation, SCAT Program Contributor (2016); FIRST Robotics FTC, Canton Double Qualifier Official Judge (2015); Greater Questions in Neuroscience (GQiN) Series Coordinator (2014).

Career Goals: My goal is to describe how different environments alter brain activity and affect motor performance. I want to combine what can be learned from the laboratory and clinic to push the frontiers of mountain and space exploration. More importantly, I want to understand how acute or chronic exposure to those extreme conditions might be therapeutic to clinical populations in normal environments.

Hobbies: Photography; cycling/running.