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2023 MiSfN Outreach Award Winner: Dr Hilary Marusak & Leah Gowatch

Dr. Hilary Marusak and her team received the 2023 MiSfN Outreach Award for their outstanding contributions. As a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at Wayne State University School of Medicine, Dr. Marusak leads the Trauma History Investigation of Neurodevelopment in Kids (THINK) Lab, where Leah Gowatch plays a pivotal role in spearheading outreach initiatives and was a key contributor to the award's success.

Dr. Marusak has been involved with MiSfN intermittently since 2012, initially serving as a Student Councilor and currently holding the Treasurer position. Leah Gowatch, the Lab Manager, joined in May 2022, bringing valuable expertise to the team.

The THINK Lab recognizes the critical role of outreach in bridging science with the broader community, aiming to both educate and inspire the next generation of scientists, as highlighted by Leah Gowatch. With the support of the outreach award, the lab acquired portable wearable electroencephalography (EEG) and skin conductance response (SCR) devices, facilitating engaging discussions on neuroscience and mental health with children and teens.

The THINK Lab has conducted over 30 outreach events, impacting numerous Metro Detroit youths, emphasizing the importance of fostering curiosity and passion for neuroscience wonders.

Moving forward, Dr. Marusak, Leah, and the THINK Lab team aspire to expand their outreach efforts, welcoming additional support and fresh perspectives. Those interested in joining their initiatives can contact Leah via email at

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Leah Gowatch, Lab Manager

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Clara Zundel, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in THINK Lab

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THINK Lab Members: Reem Tamimi (left) and Leah Gowatch (right)

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