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My name is Phillip Rey Silva, and I am a senior at San Diego State University (SDSU). I am majoring in biology with an emphasis in cellular and molecular biology. I am working on a double minor in psychology (cognitive and behavioral neuroscience) and religious studies. I have posted my current undergraduate experiences and will update as I continue my academic journey. This page should help map out my accomplishments and research interests.

My research experience began at SDSU during June of 2012 with my acceptance into an undergraduate research program. Minorty Access to Research Careers (MARC), which is funded by the NIH/NIGMS, allowed me to leave my food service job in order to pursue my true passion research. I plan to apply to graduate programs in Neuroscience, Neurobiology and Behavior, Pharmacology, and Cell and Molecular Biology during Fall 2013. I am currently working on my honor's thesis under the guidance of Dr. Chitra Mandyam at The Scripps Research Institute. My project is investigating the effects of Isoxazle-9 on various brain regions in subjects that self-administered methamphetamine, self-administered sucrose, or served as control.   

Outside of the coursework and time spent at the lab, I work as an academic mentor for incoming freshman through the Aztec Freshman Connection program. I assist them with picking classes, choosing between majors/minors, using new studying techniques, and their transition to college life at SDSU. Additionally, I am their writing tutor; I edit their major essays and provide different ways to brainstorm, organize, and proofread. This creates a great feeling of accomplishment. My mentor throughout my freshman year significantly impacted my success, and I am happy at the opportunity to give back to other first-generation college students.

Another hobby of mine is raising awareness about higher education. I have served on student panels that discuss the academic, extracurricular, and research opportunities available at SDSU. As of Fall 2013, I am President and Co-Founder of the SDSU Neuroscience Club. We plan to do community service events (so far, Alzheimer's Walk and high school visitations) and provide information about the vast field of neuroscience, including academic research, medical school, and biotechnology. Guest speakers will allow students to network with professionals in the field. Journal clubs will provide opportunities to practice deciphering advanced scientific literature without the pressure of a classroom setting.

I took this image of rodent Purkinje cells while using StereoInvestigator.

During my second week of research, I had the opportunity to hold a preserved brain. It's crazy to think that this 3lb organ synchronizes the activity of the entire body and with that, creates our perception of reality. The brain is truly a significant aspect of biology.

My picture of a bee's wing taken with a scanning electron microscope. Special thanks to Dr. Steve Barlow for offering a hands-on undergraduate course about the mechanics and use of this microscope.

Blind Faith