Albert Einstein famously said "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious". Science is amazing because it is an entire discipline that works towards explaining the unknown and mysterious of our world. The practice of doing science can be difficult because when you are trying new and unexplored things, they fail a lot. There is a lot of freedom and beauty in failing though because it allows you to be creative, reinvent your approach, and builds resilience. In the Kaun Lab we use creativity, communication, resilience and rigorous approaches to address questions about reward, memory and addiction.
We use a curiosity driven approach that combines diverse scientific expertise and life experiences to understand the circuit and molecular mechanisms underlying memory for natural and drug reward. We aspire to understand how the fundamental principles underlying memory formation and expression, and how addictive substances alter cell signaling mechanisms to change the molecular composition of memory circuits to drive alcohol and drug seeking behavior.
Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
We endeavor to make the lab environment a welcome and inclusive place by promoting it as a non-hierarchical environment, and encouraging open and honest communication among all lab members. In our lab everyone brings to the table diverse life and science experiences. Everyone endeavors to share their expertise and learn from others in the lab. We openly recognize and celebrate diversity and trainees are encouraged to express how their individual experiences influence their science and learning experiences. As a lab, we collectively expand our knowledge about how a diverse background can affect feelings of inclusion and equity. We are aware of how implicit bias, and microaggressions can affect interactions with their fellow labmates. We also do our best to understand and communicate our science using a decolonization mindset. This aids in maintaining an inclusive and culturally diverse scientific environment.