Ginny Park hopes her research at Washington State University will create a better understanding of how chronic cannabis use affects the human brain.
“With the legalization of cannabis, cannabis-use has drastically increased over the past five years. My research is investigating the neural circuits involved in cannabis-seeking behavior,” Ginny said. “By mapping out those neural circuits, we will be able to better understand the impact of chronic cannabis use on the brain.”
Ginny, a first-year graduate student in the Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience Department, came to Pullman from Southern California, where she majored in biological psychology and earned her bachelor’s degree at California State University, San Bernardino. Ginny is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in neuroscience.
“As a first-generation Korean-American, navigating my own path through academia was not always clear,” Ginny said. “Constantly asking a lot of questions and getting first-hand experience in different research settings allowed me to discover what research I was interested in.”
While it was a big move from Southern California to Pullman -- during the middle of a pandemic nonetheless -- Ginny said she has been fortunate to have the support of the Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience Department and her mentors, Drs. Rita Fuchs and Ryan McLaughlin.
At her side, she has also had her best friend, Denver, an 8-year-old terrier mix whom she adopted six years ago.
“I have fun with Denver by taking long, socially-distanced walks, and by spending too much time at the Farmer’s Market in Moscow,” Ginny said.