Biologist and science communicator, Alexa Erdogan, began her Master's Program in Space Studies at UND during the summer of 2015 to explore her passion and interest in the human factors of space travel and exploration.
In June of 2015, Alexa received her B.S. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from the University of Washington (UW). There, she was involved in undergraduate research at the UW Medical Center exploring the role that microglial cells play in a stroke phenomenon called ischemic preconditioning. Her specific project entitled, "Characterization of IFNAR1 gene knockdown efficiency in IFNAR1fl/fl LysMCre line", was completed in early 2015 and presented at the UW Undergraduate Research Symposium in May and the UW Department of Neurology 2nd Annual Trainee Research Poster Symposium in June of the same year.
In late 2014, her passion for both science communication and open access to education motivated her to start and host the Synapse Science podcast, which continues to cover a variety of topics in science and society in audible snippets. Alexa has also had prior experience in science journalism as a result of her time as a science writer, editor, and illustrator for the first three issues of the student-run undergraduate neuroscience journal, "Grey Matters".
After finishing her M.S. in Space Studies with a concentration on Human Factors, she intends on pursuing an M.D./Ph.D. with a focus on molecular and cellular neuroscience. Ultimately, she intends to incorporate her experience and education in both biology and space studies to practice medicine and perform research at a space agency or research institute.