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Richer and Wilbanks Selected for Sewanee-At-Yale Directed Research Program

Yale School of medicine entrance

Junior Petra Richer and Sophomore Haley Wilbanks have been accepted to the Sewanee-At-Yale Directed Research Program for spring and summer 2015. During their time in New Haven, both Petra and Haley will pursue sustained research projects with one or more faculty mentors at the Yale School of Medicine, participate in weekly research meetings, and take courses of their choice from the program’s offerings—receiving academic credit for their coursework and research.

Petra Richer

Petra Richer, Klein Family Scholar, is a Biology major and Neuroscience minor. She has research experience with Dr. Nancy Berner on cardiolipin in newts, and with Dr. Sherry Hamby in the Life Paths Research Program. She has also worked at Virgonc Gyermeksegélyező Alapítvány, a foundation in Hungary that provides specialized care for children with mental and physical disabilities. During her upcoming semester and summer at Yale, Petra will work with Dr. Thomas Fernandez, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry—a child psychiatrist and psychiatric geneticist—on the genetics and epigenetics of Tourette’s syndrome. Petra will also have the opportunity to shadow Dr. Fernandez at the Yale-New Haven Hospital once a week. Petra eventually hopes to pursue a graduate degree in Neuroscience and looks forward to a research career focusing on neurodevelopmental and/or neurodegenerative disorders.‌

Haley Wilbanks

Haley Wilbanks, Wilkins scholar, is a Biochemistry major and Women and Gender Studies minor. During her semester and summer at Yale, Haley will work with Dr. Helena Rutherford, Associate Research Scientist at the Yale Child Study Center, and Dr. Marc Potenza, Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobiology and Director of the Problem Gambling Clinic, the Center of Excellence in Gambling Research, and the Women and Addictive Disorders Core of Women's Health Research at Yale, on the neurobiology of addiction in mothers. Haley has internship experience at the Beersheba Springs Medical Clinic, and aspires to a career in medicine focusing on women’s health.

The Sewanee-At-Yale Directed Research Program is a joint venture between the Yale Child Study Center/Yale School of Medicine and Sewanee: The University of the South. This unique collaboration offers select Sewanee students the opportunity to pursue both research and coursework in the setting of a major biomedical research institution and top-tier medical school, and to experience the opportunities that such an environment offers over the extended time period of a semester plus a summer. Approved in principle by the college faculty in April 2009, the idea and support for this innovative program originate with Sewanee alumna Linda Mayes, M.D., Arnold Gesell Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology at the Yale School of Medicine. The program is sustained by her continued efforts and generosity to Sewanee and its students.

More information on the Sewanee-At-Yale Directed Research Program, including application materials, is available here.Questions or requests for additional information may be directed to Karen Yu, Professor of Psychology.