Student NameCaroline Davidson
Faculty Mentor NameDr. Sara Burke
CollegeCollege of Medicine
MajorBehavioral & Cognitive Neuroscience
Research InterestsNeurochemistry, Nutrition, Cognitive Science, Music, Arts in Medicine
Academic AwardsJohn V. Lombardi Scholar; Yale Book Award; CURE Undergraduate Research Scholar; MAOT Teens in Action
OrganizationsBob Graham Center Student Fellows; UF Danza Dance Team; UF Young Life; UF Navigators International Peer Buddies
Volunteer WorkGirls Empowered by Math & Science (founder & president); Girls. Inc Jacksonville; National Federation of Music Council; Kids Can Code JAX; PACE Center for Girls; MAYO Clinic
Hobbies and InterestsVegan Cooking; Piano; Dance; Traveling

Why I got involved with research

I’ve always been fascinated by the inner workings of the brain and the study of neuroscience as a holistic way to approach health science. Research is a way to deepen my understanding of the neural network and help further improve the quality of treatment patients receive.

Research Project

The Late Implementation of a Ketogenic Diet May Improve Cognitive and Memory Function

Age-related cognitive decline is typically evident in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex through the decreasing ability to utilize glucose as an energy source. Ketones are an oxidizable caloric fuel produced when a body’s main source of food is fat-based. Thus, when ketones are the main source of fuel, the body can avoid the glucose-based signaling mechanism. A ketogenic diet may then be most effective for patients with memory-loss disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease. My project will test the effectiveness of ketogenic diets on aged brains’ cognitive capacities.