PhD Student Jessica Kohn Receives HHMI 2018 Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study

July 26, 2018

Jessica Kohn, a PhD student in the Neurobiology and Behavior Program, was recently awarded a 2018 Gilliam Fellowship for Advanced Study by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). HHMI awards Gilliam Fellowships to talented young scientists who have demonstrated high promise to become leaders and advance diversity within their fields.

Jessica grew up on the Crow Reservation, a sparsely populated community in rural southeastern Montana. Her ties to her home community have inspired her to bring the same kind of outreach to rural communities that Columbia University programs provide in NYC schools. Her focus is on tailoring these outreach programs so that they can be easily reconstructed by educators in remote classrooms. The resources provided by the Gilliam Fellowship, including an allowance dedicated to promoting diversity in the sciences and attendance at the annual conference for Gilliam Fellows, will help Jessica as she works toward this goal.

Dr. Rudy Behnia, an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, is Jessica’s advisor. Together, the pair investigates how different behavioral states alter the function of motion-sensing circuits in the fruit fly visual system.