Second-year Ph.D. candidate Katy Pilarzyk developed a passion for studying the brain while taking Psychology 101 during her freshman year at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay.
“I liked that there is so much that isn’t known and that it’s so complicated and complex,” says Pilarzyk. “I knew I liked the brain, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go the medical school route or the research route.”
After spending a year as a phlebotomist, Pilarzyk decided the clinical world wasn’t the right fit. In 2016, after never even visiting South Carolina, she accepted a position as a research technician in Michy Kelly’s lab in the University of South Carolina’s School of Medicine in Columbia. The following year she applied to be a Ph.D. candidate in school’s Biomedical Sciences Program.