Lauren Cook is currently a third-year Honors student at the University of Alabama from Raleigh, NC. Majoring in biology and minoring in neuroscience, she has been heavily involved with research since first arriving at UA as a member of the Emerging Scholars Program and soon thereafter the Caldwell Laboratory. The Caldwell Lab studies a variety of neurological disorders such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s through the use of the microscopic model organism, C. elegans. Lauren has worked on various projects, from investigating a possible environmental factor in Parkinson’s Disease to studying the roles of dopamine and serotonin in learned aversion to noxious stimuli. Her current project is investigating the role of nuclear hormone receptors in important mitochondrial mechanisms and their effects on dopaminergic neurons. She has presented her work at multiple conferences, has written and been awarded a grant from the University for her research, and will also be serving as the Executive Editor of the Journal of Science and Health at the University of Alabama this upcoming year. She is also currently Leader of the Research Initiative for Alpha Epsilon Delta and President of the Alabama Undergraduate Research Association (AURA), which aims to connect students from a variety of departments on campus to each other as well as to additional research and mentorship opportunities. She hopes to one day join an MD/Ph.D. program to further study neurodegenerative disorders and pursue her passion for medicine. Lauren thoroughly enjoys connecting others to what they love and is eager to help other students navigate the challenges and excitement of undergraduate research.