I am fascinated by sleep physiology and circadian biology. As a member of the Lichtman Lab, I have been reconstructing neurons from the master circadian brain clock (suprachiasmatic nucleus, or SCN) to explore their structure-activity relationship.

A young Mark sleeping, enjoying an activity he now studies at the electron microscopy level

Who or what most inspires you?
My younger sister Meg inspires me to constantly reconsider the way I think. She has many talents and is an especially gifted artist. Through drawings, paintings, and videos, she is able to convey an enormous amount of information in unconventional ways.

What is the trait you admire most in other scientists?
Passion! It is easy to recognize and impossible to fake. Passion is a common trait among the scientists I hold in high regard.

Which teacher has had the biggest impact on your life so far?
Professor Jeff Lichtman (Molecular and Cellular Biology, Neuroscience) has unequivocally had the biggest impact of my undergraduate professors. I have had the privilege of spending the past four years working in his lab. I also took MCB68: Cell Biology Through the Microscope, which is co-taught by Professor Lichtman, and volunteered as a course facilitator for the course the following year. As a role model and mentor, Professor Lichtman has not only taught me how to do and think about science, he has taught me how to do and think about life. In doing so, he has transformed my world view and helped me shape my personal and professional aspirations.