We are fascinated by neuroscience. What drew you to the field and how do you work within it?
Of all of the systems of thought that humans have come up with, the scientific method is the only one that has any sort of predictive ability. I think sometimes we forget how incredible that is—we can actually use the scientific method to (somewhat) accurately predict the future. I find that neuroscience is, at its centre, focused on the same basic questions that every other field—scientific and artistic—has been asking for basically all of human existence: Who are we? Why are we here? What does it mean to be human? To me, to the extent that these questions can be addressed by science at all, the brain is the core of this. And I feel so lucky to be alive at this time of amazing convergence—we are developing so many new, incredible tools that allow us to precisely chip away at little tiny bits of these questions in a scientific way. My research focuses on how the brain develops. PhDs in the biological sciences are very minimally about coursework—I spend 95 percent of my time in the lab. I use a mouse model of developmental dysfunction to learn about disease (in this case, a genetic form of autism) and about the biological processes that underlie both normal and abnormal brain development.