Noah Gilkes

Noah Gilkes, Undergraduate student, neuroscience and philosophy

Protects the brain after trauma

“Noah is another wonderful human and researcher who goes out of his way to bring science and research to other students. He is an ICRU Ambassador, was a Latham Fellow, was a TA for Latham Fellows, has been an ICRU Fellow, and has worked with strategic communications to get more undergrad research stories in their communications.” -Melinda Licht, program coordinator, Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates

Hometown: Robins, Iowa

Faculty mentor/advisor: Elizabeth Newell, MD, assistant professor, pediatrics-critical care

What is your degree program and expected graduate date? Neuroscience (with Honors) BS, May 2023 graduation. Philosophy BA, May 2023 graduation

Please describe your research: Our research focuses on the impacts that traumatic brain injury has on the brain and body. We study how these changes in the brain lead to large-scale changes in the immune system and what this means for predicting health outcomes after injury. Our goal is to develop effective strategies to mitigate the negative outcomes of these unfortunate events.

In simple terms, why does this research matter? Traumatic brain injury is a leading cause of death worldwide and impacts an estimated 3 million people in the United States annually. Traumatic brain injury also leads to hundreds of thousands of emergency room visits for children each year. Our research to geared to help better understand the mechanisms of brain injury and prevent its negative outcomes. Ultimately, we hope to uncover protective therapies for victims of these unfortunate events.

How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research? I started research at the start of my second semester at the University of Iowa.

How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa? Research has helped me translate what I’m learning in class to research and clinical settings. Research has also broadened the connections I have formed with other researchers and mentors.

What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation? After graduation, I hope to attend medical school. Eventually, I would like to be able to teach science to others.

Banner location: Downtown—Washington St., in front of The Englert