Published: Sept. 1, 2021
Headshot of Dillon

Dillon McGovern is a fourth year PhD student studying Behavioral Neuroscience. His research focuses on reward neurochemistry and signaling and how stress or drugs of abuse can alter this neuronal activity. Dillon was recently awarded a Research Excellence Award based on his accomplishments and contributions to the research community. We asked Dillon a few questions to learn more about him as a researcher and get to know him better. Read more below!

What advice do you have for someone who is interested in starting research?

Find a topic that you are genuinely curious about even if it extends beyond your major. If you love going to the lab and the experiments that you are running you are much less likely to be discouraged when projects inevitably don't work out as planned.

What is a useful research skill you think everyone should have?

It is important to be detail oriented as a researcher but also equally as important to be flexible. Lots of unexpected problems arise with any new experiment so being able to adapt accordingly and not be too hard on yourself if something doesn't work out perfectly is important.

Why is your research important to the community or world at large?

The majority of the work that I have done focuses on how stress and drugs of abuse can alter neuronal activity and contribute to either stress deficits or heightened drug seeking. This work provides foundational insights into distinct brain regions and circuits that may be clinically efficacious targets for stress or drug related therapies in the future.

What is a good book you have read recently and why did you enjoy it?

I recently read the Stormlight Archive series by Brandon Sanderson and I loved it because he creates a fully immersive world that is unlike any other epic fantasy series I have read.

If you could have dinner with anyone (living or dead), who would it be and why?

I would want to have dinner with Lady Gaga. In addition to being a music icon she is also an entrepreneur, actor, artist, philanthropist and fierce advocate for the LGBTQ+ community.