Future Leader Spotlight
Bryan Copits, PhD
Washington University in St. Louis
Molecular mechanisms of somatosensory circuit assembly
How/why did you enter the field of pain?
I joined the Gereau lab as a postdoc in 2013 to study how brain and spinal circuits process different types of somatosensory information. As I was completing my graduate work, where I studied mechanisms underlying the localization and function of neuronal glutamate receptors, I wanted to apply these cellular and molecular approaches to systems neuroscience. It was very important to me that my research could have the potential to impact areas of unmet clinical need, and after meeting Rob at the Society for Neuroscience conference, I recognized immediately that a career in pain research was the perfect fit for me.
What does it mean for you to be a 2018 Future Leaders Recipient?
I am incredibly honored to have been selected for this award, given all of the new and exciting work from so many other young researchers. The list of past recipients includes many scientists whose work I have looked up to since entering this field, and they have certainly become current leaders in pain research.
What is your favorite part of your work, and why?
There are so many aspects of my research that bring me tremendous satisfaction. At the bench, a new or unexpected observation is always incredibly exciting, as is the chance to forge ahead into unknown or unfamiliar areas. I have also learned how much I truly enjoy teaching and mentoring trainees in the lab. Helping them to develop their own unique skill sets and achieve their goals is the most rewarding part of this job.