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Jun 16 / Carrie Leach

IOG Insider: Ray Viviano of Connect Lab

connect lab-group-2014

Twice a year we feature an “IOGer” to better acquaint outsiders with the innder workings of the IOG. Meet Ray (pictured middle top), a research assistant, that works with IOG faculty member, Jessica Damoiseaux, Ph.D. (pictured lower left), in her lab.

Tell us about your role at the IOG and about yourself.

This July I will have worked at the Institute of Gerontology for two years. My job responsibilities have evolved to become a mixture of data collection and analysis along with Linux tech support. I guess I have found that the tasks at work that bring me the most joy are the ones where I have to write a script for some data analysis task. Interests outside of work include writing music, attending live music events, swimming, reading, and seeing friends and family.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Ann Arbor two doors down from my neighborhood pool. During my childhood summers I probably spent eight hours a day in/at the pool. I’ve been swimming since I was five and still do to this day because of my early proximity to a large body of water.

Where did you go to school?

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

What did you study?

My initial interest in neuroscience stemmed from books that I had read on lucid dreaming by Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D. and Partricia Garfield, Ph.D. This early interest in sleep and dreams led me on my path to study neuroscience and psychology. Though my initial interests in dreams may have faded, my interest in the brain as a whole has not.

How did you end up in aging?

Earlier I mentioned that my interests in sleep waned during my undergraduate studies; however, an interest in memory and cognition in general grew instead. I was drawn to Dr. Damoiseaux’s lab at the IOG because her goal of finding early biomarkers of dementia before symptomology is outwardly present, via various magnetic resonance imaging techniques, fits my general interest in making contributions to the science of human memory.

How do you hope to have a positive impact on aging?

My personal career goals have always been to make contributions to science; I have always seen myself as a scientist. I just hope that the work I help out with positively impacts humanity so that steps can be taken to keep memory intact throughout the aging process.

Thanks for letting us learn more about you and the work you do Ray!

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