Patrick McGurrin, a 2016/2017 ARCS scholar, was recently awarded with a prestigious opportunity to participate in the Science Outside the Lab program. This workshop, coordinated through the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, took students on a trip to Washington, D.C. Here, Patrick and other students explored the relationship between science, policy, and society at the local, state, and federal levels. During this week-long workshop Patrick met with groups of people, including congressional staffers, lobbyists, and funding agency officers, who fund and regulate science policy.
Patrick is a 5th year PhD student in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Neuroscience at ASU. His work focuses on how different areas of the brain enable people to use their hands in complex ways. His work has strong clinical goals, such as designing novel rehabilitation methods. These methods can target newly identified brain regions that may be affected after neurological injury to restore lost motor function after limb loss or other neurological injury. Patrick feels strongly that his newfound knowledge of the interaction between science and policy will help him transition his work from the laboratory to a space that can greatly help people who have been affected by motor injury.