Afra Wang

  • Position: PhD Student

  • Originally from: Taipei, Taiwan

  • Degree(s): BSc (National Chiao-Tung University)

  • Joined in: Summer 2006

  • Publications: Pubmed Search

Where did you study before coming to Toronto: I studied biological science and technology at National Chiao-Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan. In 2005, I came to Toronto as a summer student.

Currently working on: I’m currently working on understanding the temporal change of neural circuits supporting cocaine-associated memories. Also I am interested in adult neurogenesis (and addiction.)

Favorite paper: Recently my favorite paper is “selective erasure of a fear memory.” in Science, 2009 by Han et al. It elegantly demonstrates that a specific trace of memory can be at least partially encoded by a small particular population of neurons in amygdala. And by changing one protein in those specific trace of neurons, one can observe the change behaviorally.

Why science? If I weren’t a scientist, I would be… I was really interested in physics and neuroscience back in high school. In my undergraduate, after taking course in electronics and neuroscience, I was amazed by the idea that neurons can be seen as many diodes. After I accidentally walked into Dr. Tim Tully’s talk, my interest of research was shifted from molecular/cellular level to behavioral level. I found it quite cool to do something involves both and it would be super cool that someday we can save the memory loss. Coooool.

I wanna be a journalist, a writer, a chef, or a social critic other than a neuroscientist. A music critic also sounds tempting since I enjoy free shows more than playing guitar myself. But now I am also open to the option of marketing and politics.

Interests outside the lab: Cooking and food tasting. Going to concerts, reading about photography. Traveling.

Favorite place in Toronto: Home? The little gym on the top floor of my building although I just go there for the scenery.