No election was needed for Andrew Novick PH/TX’08 to find a place in Washington, D.C., and a spot in the Capitol Building. The Council on Undergraduate Research invited Novick to present his research at the “Posters on the Hill” event on April 30, 2008 on Capitol Hill.
As one of only 60 students selected nationwide, he is the first student to represent USP at this highly competitive event. During his time on Capitol Hill, Novick met with Congressional Representatives and Senators about his research, which is currently in press to be published.
His research on the Effect of Stress on Dopamine type-1 Receptors in Wistar-Kyoto and Wistar rats began in Dr. Shanaz Tejani-Butt’s lab in January 2006.
“Essentially, this work is a continuation of previous work that has gone on in our lab that implicates the regulation of dopamine receptors to play an important role in the neurobiology of depression,” Novick explained. “I believe it has major consequences to the way we view and treat depression. If stress is interfering with dopamine activity in depressive individuals, effective treatments need to target this system.”
Novick has also traveled to various other conferences including the Annual Meeting for Neurosciences held in San Diego in November 2007, where he gave two poster presentations, one of which he presented at Posters on the Hill. “Research has been one of the most positive aspects of my undergraduate experience.
“My career and future research will depend on government funding, so to be chosen to present at Capitol Hill was an honor. It allowed me to not only express myself scientifically, but in the political sphere as well,” Novick said.
With the support of Dr. Tejani-Butt, Novick has gained extensive research experience and an interest in furthering his work in neuroscience.
“Making progress with a complex disease like depression requires not only scientific research, but also support from the socio-political sphere. Research needs funding from non-industry sources, people need proper access to health care, and mental health needs to have proper recognition. Part of the excitement of going to Washington is to remind legislators that they have a large role to play in supporting future researchers like myself and ultimately making people healthier,” Novick said.
After graduation in May 2008, he will be attending the University of South Dakota to pursue a dual MD/PhD degree.