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Laurel Bellocchio



Laurel Bellocchio is a 4th year PhD Candidate in the Chemistry Department studying under Dr. Sandra Rosenthal. Her thesis work aims to uncover the molecular mechanisms underlying serotonergic mental health disorders, namely autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by using quantum dot technology and advanced fluoresence microscopy. Her work in the field of ASD research has earned her a Neurodivergent Inspired Science and Engineering (NISE) fellowship through the Frist Center for Autism and Innovation. Laurel is heavily involved in outreach, as the VINSE outreach TA for the 2023-24 academic year. Additionally, she participates in Vanderbilt Program for Talented Youth (PTY) programs throughout the year, namely Vanderbilt Summer Academy (VSA) and Mentor Immersion (MI), where she teaches courses about the multidisciplinary approaches to using nanoscience and neuroscience in research. She is passionate about providing opportunities to K-12 students to promote interest in nanoscience. research. Additionally, Laurel has been involved in leadership for the Chemical Biology Association of Students (CBAS) and Vanderbilt's Women in Science and Engineering (VU-WISE), and planned the Chemistry department's Third Year talk series for a number of years.


NISE Graduate Fellowship, 2022-23