Lyrikah Rodrigues — the URECA Researcher of the Month for February — is a junior in the Honors College at Stony Brook University, pursuing dual majors in psychology and biology (neuroscience track). She has been a member of the research group of Hoi-Chung Leung, a professor in the Department of Psychology, since June 2021.
In Summer 2022, Rodrigues received funding from URECA to investigate the relationship between the apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype, beta-amyloid plaques, and executive-function task performance using data from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) database. She will present a poster on her URECA project titled, “The Effect of Apolipoprotein E (APOE) Gene on Alzheimer’s Disease Symptoms,” at the upcoming URECA campus-wide research symposium in May, and has submitted a paper to The Undergraduate Research Journal of Psychology (URJP) at UCLA detailing her findings. Rodrigues is also participating in the Department of Psychology’s honors program and plans to do her senior honors thesis focusing on TOMM40, a gene closely linked to APOE.
In her interview with URECA Director Karen Kernan, Rodrigues shared some advice for fellow students: “The whole process of research is actually about learning and about getting acquainted with a field of knowledge that interests you. So don’t be afraid to reach out to labs and professors.”
Rodrigues participates in the JFEW-SUNY Global Affairs Program and has a paid internship at a NYC-based globally focused organization this coming summer. She is a commuter student and has been extensively involved in campus activities including serving as a success navigator mentor with the Academic Success and Tutoring Center, as an Honors College “big sibling” peer mentor and as a member of the Middle States team participating in the institutional self-study for Standard IV – Support of the Student Experience. She is also president of Dumbledore’s Army Stony Brook and formerly a member of Neuroscience Axis.