Written and Illustrated by Yang Sun-Hwang and Gil Torten
Gil Torten is currently in his 2nd year of his Ph.D. at UCLA. His research is particularly interested in vision, specifically in the maintenance and function of the photoreceptor cell in the retina, with a focus on utilizing new technology in microscopy to better understand this complex cell. While Gil spends a bit too much time in the lab, he is also passionate about art and has been working with clay in some capacity for over 12 years - see his work on his Instagram: @tortenceramics. In the future, Gil hopes to use his experience in both art and science to encourage cross disciplinary education in K-12 and in universities, and teach others about the value of exploring a wide range of interests
Yang-Sun Hwang started her Neuroscience PhD program at UCSF in 2022. She was first driven into neuroscience by the question, ‘how do collections of cells give rise to unique individuals?’ During her undergraduate studies in microbiology, this question inspired her to start a master’s thesis in systems neuroscience at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. There, she uncovered the role of the neuropeptide somatostatin in visual processing. In her Ph.D. program, she is interested in how environmental factors shape neural circuits, learning, and memory, which will eventually cast light on attenuating neuropsychiatric or neurodegenerative disorders. Outside the lab, she is a huge fan of video games, loves trying new places, foods, and outdoor activities, as well as running and drawing.