RISE Scholar Profile

By Anna Gombert, Managing Editor 

What’s your name, hometown and anticipated major?

My name is Alex Pearce (‘19).  I’m from Ringwood, NJ, and I’m double majoring in Psychology and Neuroscience.

Who is your RISE mentor?

My RISE mentor is Sam Kongsamut.

What sort of research does he do?

He is a neuroscientist. He’s cofounded a few companies but he’s really spent most of his career working in the psychopharmacologic industry.

Why did you/will you choose them as your mentor?

Being that I am double majoring in psychology and neuroscience, I have big interest in behavior and emotions and how drugs within the psychopharmacologic industry can have a positive impact on people as well as a negative impact. So I’m interested in working with him on a research topic that goes along those lines.

What are you personally researching?

Right now my idea is to take a known drug that possibly treats depression and apply it to another mental illness. So taking some kind of psychopharmacological drug and applying it to another mental illness to see if it has a positive effect.

Do you plan to continue this research through DSSI, independent research, etc?

Being that I am in the Baldwin Honors program, I am planning on doing my honors tutorial next fall, and then cumulating everything I have to write my thesis. So if I’m still interested in this topic and if it works out the way that I am hoping it will, then I will definitely be interested in continuing to research it.

Why did you want to be a part of RISE?

So like I said, being that I am a Baldwin student, we have to acquire 12 credits before we graduate. A lot of the classes are humanities based or arts classes and I don’t really have a strong connection with either of those disciplines, so RISE was one of the few seminars that they offered that really had a focus in the natural sciences, something that I’m interested in. That was one of my reasons for doing it, as well as needing to build up my research portfolio, so taking part in this is allowing me to start doing research.

What’s another interest you have?

I like collecting really interesting socks.

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