I was fortunate to be invited to the 2020 Charleston Conference on Alzheimer’s disease, at a time when I was struggling to try to get my Alzheimer’s disease research off the ground. I am by nature more of a method developer than a biologist; my PhD was centered on understanding the basic mechanisms of how viral tools used to map brain circuits work, and my postdoc focus was to apply these viruses to understand how brain circuits are constructed and how they are modified by experience. As a method developer, I am most interested in identifying biological problems that cannot be solved using existing methodologies, and applying our approaches to provide answers to important questions. Given how little we know about how brain connectivity is altered during Alzheimer’s disease, and the potential of our approaches to map the sources of Alzheimer’s-related pathology, I found Alzheimer’s disease an appropriately appealing target of research.

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