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Brendan Lehnert

Class of 2012-2013

About Brendan

updated 6/2013: Brendan Lehnert is a 2012-2013 Luce Scholar placed with the Center for Structural Biology at Tsinghua University in Beijing, where among other projects he has worked on the atomic structure of a protein in the nervous system that allows cells to communicate with one another. Prior to coming to Beijing, Brendan was a research scientist in the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School, funded by the National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship. His work focused on identifying molecules that mediate our senses of hearing and balance, as well as developing new techniques to define how neurons connect to one another within the brain. For his dissertation, he constructed a Laser Scanning Two-Photon Microscope capable of brain-wide imaging and redefined the function of several proteins in the auditory system. Deeply interested in research that may lead to treatments for diseases of the nervous system, he co-organized the Program in Neuroscience Symposium on Translational Neuroscience and served as a teaching fellow for the Neurobiology of Disease, a course that explores the biological underpinnings of neurological conditions. He is a graduate of Stanford University, where he studied Biology and Computer Science and was awarded a Stanford University Presidential Scholarship. His interest in neuroscience began in the lab of Richard Aldrich, where he was trained as an electrophysiologist and learned to record the electrical currents that arise in brain cells as they function, a technique that he still uses every day in the laboratory. Brendan was born into a military family that moved frequently, living in more than a dozen places in the United States and the Panama Canal Zone. He has a longstanding interest in supporting members of the Armed Forces, and has helped several veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan pursue their educational goals.

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