My name is Rachel Ross and I’m a PGY3 in the research concentration of MGH/McLean psychiatry residency. I’m originally from Rochester, NY, studied biomedical and environmental engineering as an undergrad at Cornell University, and then went on to do an MD and PhD at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx. For my graduate work in the labs of Luciano Rossetti and Gary Schwartz I focused on fatty acid signaling in the hypothalamus and brain stem, looking at the neuronal intracellular signaling pathways involved in glucose metabolism and energy homeostasis of rodents. I also spent some time in medical school working with a clinic in Sierra Leone, and continue to work on paradigms to help patients there understand chronic diseases, including both obesity and mental illness.
I chose to attend MGH/McLean to obtain top-notch clinical training, continue my research in the brain-gut axis, as well as be able to stay involved in global health. I’ve recently joined the lab of Brad Lowell in the endocrinology department at BIDMC, using mouse genetic recombineering techniques, including optogenetics and channel-rhodopsin assisted circuit mapping, to study brain areas and pathways involved in food intake and energy balance. I remain fascinated by the neurocircuitry involved in food intake, hoping to better understand why we make decisions involving addictive substances like delicious food, or how the enteric nervous system interacts with the brain.
Splitting time between multiple training venues has been hectic, but it forces me to stay organized, and keeps me in shape (I far prefer bicycling between institutions to bussing)! I’m very happy with my decision to maintain involvement in different interest areas, though I’m busy, I feel like I’m learning more than I ever have, especially how to manage the work I hope to do for life.