Rachel Arey, PhD
Job Title: Assistant Professor, Molecular and Cellular Biology
Current Employer: Baylor College of Medicine
Postdoctoral fellowship at Princeton University, Princeton, NJ (2019)
Ph.D. in Neuroscience, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas TX (2012)
B.A. in Biology, Austin College, Sherman, TX (2007)
Dr. Arey first began her research path in 2006 as part of a summer undergraduate research experience with the Department of Biology at Austin College. She used luciferase assays to determine the effects of pharmacological treatments on reporter gene expression, which she continued as part of her Honor’s thesis research. She began pursuing her Ph.D. in 2007 in the laboratory of Dr. Colleen McClung at UT Southwestern Medical Center, where her dissertation research addressed the molecular mechanisms underlying the behavioral phenotype and responsiveness to mood stabilizers of a mouse model of bipolar mania. She completed her Ph.D. in 2012, and began a postdoc in the laboratory of Dr. Coleen Murphy at Princeton University. In her postdoctoral work, which was funded by an NRSA from the NIA, she combined genomics, C. elegans genetics, and behavior to identify novel and conserved regulators of associative learning and memory and potential targets for the development of treatments for age-related cognitive decline. She joined the faculty at Baylor College of Medicine in September of 2019 in the Center for Precision Environmental Health and the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology.
Most useful skill sets acquired from/for your field:
Communication – I honestly would not be where I am today if I were unable to communicate my ideas clearly (and with enthusiasm whenever possible!) in papers, grants, talks, and one-on-one discussions with colleagues and trainees.
Rigor – I am often my own biggest skeptic, and try to always make sure that I am asking experimental questions in the best way possible. It often takes hard work and more time, but also means that I believe the results from myself and my lab, even if they are unexpected.
Flexibility/Creativity – Don’t be afraid to try something just because it hasn’t been done before or stems from some results that are “weird” or are opposite of what you hypothesized (after they pass the rigor test). That just means that you are about to learn something really cool!
What I love most about my job:
Getting to ask and (try to) answer questions that truly fascinate and excite me every day.
The people. I think one of the most wonderful things about science is that we have an ever-growing network amazing colleagues, friends, and trainees!