Margot DeBaker

Entering Class - 2017


Institution and Major: 

Marquette University, B.S., Biomedical Sciences, 2017

Graduate Advisor:

Anna Lee, Ph.D., Department of Pharmacology

Kevin Wickman, Ph.D., Department of Pharmacology

Graduate Research:

My projects focus on studying patterns of drug intake as well as the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying these pathological behaviors.

Professional Outreach:

  • Brain booth at the Minnesota State Fair 2018
  • Brain awareness week presentations at local middle schools 2017, 2018)


Catherin Kotz, Ph.D., Departments of Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Care (GRECC); Food Science and Nutrition; MN Obesity Center

Lucy Vulchanova, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience

Anna Lee, Ph.D., Department of Pharmacology

Kevin Wickman, Ph.D., Department of Pharmacology

Undergraduate Awards:

Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience Student Travel Award, 2016

Undergraduate or Post-Doc-Bac Research:

I worked in a lab that studied addiction and how different factors can play a role in the relapse of drug seeking. Specifically, the project that I focused on explored how different levels of both stress and ovarian hormones affect relapse of cocaine seeking behavior in rodents.

What Got You Interested In Research?

I have always been interested in science, and I am naturally drawn to solving problems and answering difficult questions. As an undergraduate, I was encouraged to volunteer in a neuroscience lab in order to explore my interests further.  After joining the lab, my passion for neuroscience grew exponentially. I began taking neuroscience classes, and my interest in pursuing a career in neuroscience was solidified.

Why Did You Choose MN?

I chose the University of Minnesota because of the breadth of research being conducted here, along with the warm environment that I experienced when I interviewed. It seemed like a place to grow as a scientist and as a person, surrounded by an endless number of intelligent and supportive faculty and students.

Student Mentor and the Best Advice They Gave:

Janna Moen: She gave me a ton of great advice on how rotations work and the best ways to choose professors with whom to rotate. She also gave me a lot of tips before going to Itasca and moving to the Twin Cities, which made my transition a lot smoother and less stressful!

Favorite Itasca Memory:

My favorite Itasca memory was when the entire class went out on the lake for an afternoon to hang out and relax.


Picture of Margot DeBaker