04/23 | Just keep working.
April 2023 Newsletter | Lauren (Inside Lauren's Brain)
Hey, welcome to my monthly newsletter. My name is Lauren, and I’m researching molecular cancer diagnostics' clinical applications (project coming soon 🙏🏻). In the past, I’ve built in the brain-computer interface space (see projects here). Feel free to keep reading to see what I got up to this past April!
April’s Newsletter tl:dr
Sharing the released v1 of my autism diagnostics project
Events Retro (WINS & Tumour Talk)
Content Reqs + May Goals
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Launching v1 of my BCI project summative (as-dx)
If you’ve been keeping up with my monthly updates (no worries if you haven’t 😊), you might be familiar with my previous work in the BCI (brain-computer interface)space. This past April, I wrapped up my V1 “summative” project centred around improving autism diagnostic testing through EEG emotion recognition. In more simplistic terms, I leveraged my knowledge of the Python muselsl library alongside my lived experiences going through the diagnosis process for ASD.
As an autistic individual myself, a common barrier in the testing process often emerges due to the behaviour of masking. This occurs when a neuroatypical person intentionally (or unintentionally) tries to suppress their neurodivergent traits to conform to societal norms.
Unfortunately, masking can lead to false screening results…
So I opted to include emotional recognition via live EEG data to supply the physician with more accurate interpersonal data.
Attending Tumour Talk + WINS Symposium
Lately, I’ve been obsessed with the world of neurosurgery. I want to think this could be my career someday, but who knows what the future holds? In the meantime, I made it my mission to consume as much neurosurgery-related content as possible to further my intellectual curiosity in this space. On April 17th, I attended my 1st “tumour talk” led by Dr. Kenneth Aldape, MD and Prof. MacLean Nasrallah. The discussion focused on the latest National Cancer Institutes Center for Cancer Research publication on meningiomas' molecular classification and grading.
Here are some of my takeaways from the convo!
The current WHO (World Health Organization) grading scale provides inadequate patient outcomes details.
Hence, utilizing an integrated scale with epigenetic grouping can help uncover biomarkers that can be used for targeted molecular therapeutics.
WOMEN IN NEUROSURGERY SYMPOSIUM (4/19/23)
During the same week as Tumour Talk, I also attended the WINS (Women in Neurosurgery) virtual symposium, which focused on the pathway to neurosurgical residency. While I’m nowhere near residency applications (yet). I thought it would be enjoyable to listen to some of the mentors and their experiences (spoiler alert - It was! 😊)
I’m hoping to possibly attend more events in the future as I get further in my education. Massive shoutout to the team behind WINS! I’m so inspired and in awe of your accomplishments in neurosurgery.
Content Reqs + May Goals
As my April newsletter comes to an end. I wanted to leave you with recommendations based on some of the content I have consumed thus far. I’ve started to get back into reading for fun recently, and I’ve liked Robin Sharma’s “5 am Club” + “Aboriginal TM” by Jennifer Adese of the University of Manitoba.
More about “Aboriginal TM”
The author mainly describes the consumerism exploitation of Canadian indigenous communities.
I think the direct representation and ethical mortality surrounding Canada’s relationship with Indigenous people is a story that should NEVER be forgotten.
On a lighter note… Here are my plans for May!
I look forward to sharing my progress in molecular oncology (esp. w/genomics) & hopefully disclosing some of my plans for this summer. To hold myself (extra) accountable, I will update you on these subject areas in my following newsletter.
Some action items include…
I will be completing an EXTREME discomfort challenge to combat some of my irrational fears. Don’t worry; I will be taking visual proof of this event to share in my newsletter.
To reach a state of completion for my molecular cancer diagnostics project (I will also be posting my deliverables for you all to see :)