K. Melodi McSweeney is a fourth year PhD candidate in Genetics whose research focuses on modelling the effect of mutations that cause neurological disorders. Melodi is originally from Belize City, Belize and moved to Chicago, IL in 2008 to finish her Bachelor’s Degree in Molecular Biology at Loyola University Chicago. Melodi went on to complete a Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program at the University of Michigan in the Human Genetics department where she studied atypical progeria and DNA damage due to hydroxyurea, a treatment for sickle cell anemia. Melodi started her PhD in 2012 through the University Program in Genetics and Genomics at Duke University and then joined Dr. David Goldstein’s lab in 2013. Melodi relocated to Columbia University with Dr. Goldstein’s group in 2015 and is currently continuing her PhD research on the effect of microRNA manipulation on neuronal activity and the functional consequences of mutations in the ATP1A3 gene.