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About Me

I am a third-year neuroscience PhD student at the University of Texas at Austin where I work in Dr. Darrin Brager’s lab investigating the electrophysiological properties of inhibitory interneurons in the hippocampus.

I am also a textile artist where I use embroidery, rug hooking, and watercolored fabric to exhibit the diversity and beauty of neurons as well as other aspects of neuroscience.

Science

I am broadly interested in how microcircuits in the brain can influence behaviors. I started my research journey as a freshman at Arizona State University where in the behavioral neuroscience department I worked in a neurobiology of learning and memory lab led by Dr. Heather Bimonte-Nelson. My projects there focused on the impact of estrogenic hormone therapy on cognition. I then remained at ASU after graduation and worked in the developmental neuroscience lab of Dr. Jason Newbern for two years as a research technician. As a trained behaviorist, I was able to build the behavioral aspect of Dr. Newbern’s lab in order to study a group of neurodevelopment disorders known as RASopathies. I focused on inhibitory interneurons of the cortex and eventually went on to write a funded NSF-GRFP on inhibitory cholinergic neurons in the basal forebrain with Dr. Newbern’s guidance. I now am a doctorate student at The University of Texas at Austin working in Dr. Darrin Brager and Dr. Dan Johnston’s lab where I am investigating the physiological properties of inhibitory interneurons in the stratum oriens of the hippocampus.

Art

In 2018, I began embroidering as a form of stress relief. I originally focused on southwestern and asian art influences while dabbling in science art. The first neuron piece I embroidered was based off of a Ramon y Cajal drawing of the cerebellar microcircuit and I’ve been enraptured with capturing the beauty of neuronal diversity ever since. I now implement metallic elements and watercolor into my neuron reconstruction embroidery art as a dynamic exhibition of the flow of activity in the brain.


You can support my art by buying me a ‘Ko-fi’. This is a small, single $3 donation (the price of a cup of coffee!) that will help me continue to make original fiber art!

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Contact

If you are interested in collaborating feel free to email me! I can be reached at:  laur.hewitt @ utexas. edu

Check out what I’m up to via my social media handles

Twitter: ScienceHew

Instagram: Stitching_Hew

These can also be accessed by clicking the links at the bottom of the page!