One example of a Mountaineer “going first” is Dr. Julie Brefczynski-Lewis. As a college student, Brefczynski-Lewis wondered about thoughts and memories and how those all rolled around in a three-pound organ known as the brain.
Today, she is a research assistant professor at the WVU Center for Neuroscience. She is on a team studying the human brain in motion, using an innovative portable PET scanner as part of a national BRAIN Initiative, launched by President Obama in 2013, to research brain disorders.
From her work studying the brains of meditating monks, Brefcyznski-Lewis developed a kindness meditation app that injects serene stretches into otherwise chaotic lives.
“This portable PET scan research represents a whole new way of thinking – literally,” Gee told the audience. “And new ways of thinking are what we need so desperately today.