Alumni Spotlight: Natasha Browder ’11

Natasha S. Browder (Academy class of 2011) is a current senior anticipating a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience from Agnes Scott College in May of 2015. She came to the Academy from East Chicago Central High School in East Chicago, Indiana. While at the Academy, she participated in a variety of science based enrichment programs, such as: working as a Toxicology Apprentice at American Institute-Toxicology (AIT) Laboratories, shadowing Dr. Gautuam Phookan, a Neurosurgeon at Central Indiana Neurosurgery, and working alongside the Associate Senior Organic Chemist at Eli Lilly and Company. In addition, she also played tennis for one year, served as a Peer Assistant (PA), and was an active member of the Students for Black Cultural Awareness Club.

Following her graduation from the Academy, Natasha has been accepted into Atlanta’s highly competitive Neuroscience Education and Training (NET/Work) Program, which is a two-year paid research assistantship that provides participants with local and national research opportunities from their sophomore year through graduation. Since 2013, Natasha has worked in the laboratory of Dr. Andrew Escayg, Ph.D., at Emory University investigating the role of genetic mutations in the development of severe epilepsy syndromes. During the summer of 2014, Natasha also conducted research in the laboratory of Dr. Joaquin Lugo, Ph.D., at Baylor University investigating the link between early life seizures and autism in mice. Her research has afforded her the opportunity to present at the National Institute of Health’s BP-ENDURE Diversity Fellows Poster Session and the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience Poster Session during the 2013 Annual Society for Neuroscience Meeting in San Diego, California. In addition, she has been invited to present at the 2014 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Undergraduate Minority Students in San Antonio, Texas and the 2014 Society for Neuroscience Main Poster Session in Washington, D.C.

After her graduation from Agnes Scott, Natasha intends to continue her research and enter medical school. Professionally, Natasha aspires to pursue a career in pediatric neurosurgery, with particular focus on children who suffer from refractory epilepsy subtypes.

Natasha credits the Academy with providing countless opportunities that challenged and encouraged her to reach her academic potential while fostering excellent leadership and interpersonal skills. Additionally, the Academy has strengthened her commitment to service, instilled in her a greater appreciation for tolerance and given her the confidence to wholeheartedly pursue her dreams.