Positron emission tomography (PET) involves injecting a molecule into the blood that emits positrons, which can be detected by an external device. Because the molecule travels in the blood stream, detection of the positrons it emits allows for the imaging of blood flow in the brain in an approximation of real time, which thus provides an image of brain activity because brain regions that are active generally require more blood flow.
Kate graduated from Scripps College in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Neuroscience, completing the cellular and molecular track with honors. As an undergraduate, she studied long-term plasticity in models of Parkinson’s disease in a neurobiology lab at University of California, Los Angeles. She continued this research as lab manager before entering the University of Southern California Neuroscience graduate program in 2011 and then transferring to UCLA in 2013. She completed her PhD in 2017, where her research focused on understanding the communication between neurons in the eye. Kate founded Knowing Neurons in 2011, and her passion for creative science communication has continued to grow.