Alex Jellinger

How I got into science

One of my earliest childhood memories is collecting moss from the base of the giant tree that stood in the middle of my backyard. Back inside my house, I would stand on my tiptoes and carefully pull down the box sitting at the top of my closet, inside of which was my prized possession: A microscope. This was by no means a fancy microscope. In fact, it was a microscope specifically made for kids. Yet, it served as my first glimpse into the many worlds that exist beyond what the naked eye can see. I fondly remember spending many hours using that microscope to look at the various specimens I collected from my backyard.

My affinity towards the microscopic continued to grow as I progressed through high school, culminating in my decision to major in biology in college. The summer after my freshman year of college, I had the opportunity to work in the lab of Dr. Carlos de Noronha at Albany Medical Center. The HIV/AIDS research I was a part of that summer not only bridged my interest in basic science and medicine, but also showed me the importance of mentorship. I worked with a mentor who was eager to teach me from the ground up and believed in me along the way.

Now, how does neuroscience fit into all of this? Truthfully, the way in which I ended up in neuroscience is a bit serendipitous. Throughout my time as an undergraduate at Boston University, I religiously read the BU Today every morning. I specifically remember lying in bed on a sleepy morning during winter break in 2019 and scrolling through the BU Today article titled “12 Breakthroughs That Wowed Us in 2019.” One of the breakthroughs on that list was memory manipulation. That immediately piqued my interest, so I clicked the hyperlink that brought me to the Ramirez Lab website, which is where you are right now if you are reading this (welcome!). While the Ramirez Lab led me to neuroscience, what led me to the Ramirez Lab was its philosophy. I am thankful to be surrounded by such wonderful mentors, and am extremely excited to continue delving into the world of neuroscience!

Non-science biography:

In my free time, I enjoy playing the violin, listening to podcasts, taking walks, cooking/baking for friends and family, and going to art museums. My favorite artist is Henri Matisse and I have many of his prints on the walls of my apartment.



To Kill a Mockingbird


The Incredibles


Midnight Diner


Romantic era classical


Dark chocolate


Iced latte



Coffee, friend or foe:

Friend before 3pm, foe after 3pm

One thing I’m sorry I’m not sorry about

Pineapple on pizza is delicious.

What I look for in a scientist

Positivity, creativity, drive, and the ability to be part of a team!