PhD in Clinical Translational Sciencies from University of Arizona in May 2022
MS in Neuroscience from Brigham Young University in August 2016
BS in Neuroscience with a minor in Chemistry from Brigham Young University in December 2014
Neurophysiological mechanism of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in movement disorders
I'm an Arizona native from Gilbert who enjoys spending time with family and friends, running, hiking, going to museums, and volunteering. My passion for neuroscience led me to pursue an MD/PhD. I find the brain absolutely fascinating, and there is a great need for a better understanding of many neurological disorders. I did research in a master's program at Brigham Young University in Utah and during a year long fellowship at the National Institute on Aging in Maryland. Ultimately, I realized that I wanted to use my enthusiasm for neuroscience and my joy of building relationships with those I volunteered with to do translational research. I am ecstatic to be here at the University of Arizona College of Medicine--Phoenix on my path to becoming a physician-scientist. I am planning on applying for residency in Child Neurology. Outside of class you can find me running (hopefully on the trails!), geeking out at a museum exhibit, listening to audiobooks, and hanging out with my husband and baby.
P.E.O. Scholar Award, 2022-2023
Society for Neuroscience Trainee Professional Development Award, 2021
Grad Slam University Second Place (University of Arizona), 2021
3 Minute Thesis University First Place (Brigham Young University), 2016
Graduate Research Fellowship Award (Brigham Young University), 2015-2016
Magna Cum Laude Graduation Honors (Brigham Young University), 2014
Guest AC, O’Neill KJ, Graham D, Mirzadeh Z, Ponce FA, Greger B. Microscale electrophysiological functional connectivity in human cortico-basal ganglia network. Clin Neurophysiol 2022;142:11–9. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.CLINPH.2022.06.017.
Greger, B., Kiraly, A., Guest, A., Graham, D., Muthuswamy, J., Ponce, F. Analysis of the Electromagnetic Field Generated by Deep Brain Stimulation in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease. 10th International IEEE EMBS Conference On Neural Engineering. 2021.
Nelson, A.C., Williams, S.B., Pistorius, S.S., Park, H.J., Woodward, T.J., Payne, A.J., Obray, J.D., Shin, S.I., Mabey, J.K., Steffensen, S.C. Ventral tegmental area GABA neurons are resistant to GABA receptor-mediated inhibition during ethanol withdrawal. Frontiers in Neuroscience (2018) 12:131. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2018.00131. PMID: 29556175
Williams, S.B., Yorgason, J.T., Nelson, A.C., Lewis, N., Nufer, T.M., Edwards, J.G. and Steffensen, S.C. Glutamate transmission to ventral tegmental area GABA neurons is altered by acute and chronic ethanol. Alcohol Clin Exp Res (2018) Sep 11. doi: 10.1111/acer.13883. PMID: 30204234
Steffensen, S.C., Shin, S.I., Nelson, A.C., Pistorius, S.S., Williams, S.B., Woodward, T.J., Park, H.J., Friend, L., Gao, M., Gao, F., Taylor, D.H., Olive, M.F., Edwards, J.G., Sudweeks, S.N., Buhlman, L.M., McIntosh, J.M., and Wu, J. (2017). α6 subunit-containing nicotinic receptors mediate low-dose ethanol effects on ventral tegmental area neurons and ethanol reward. Addiction Biology, doi: 10.1111/adb.12559
Jang, E.Y., Yang, C.H., Hedges, D.M., Kim, S.P., Lee, J.Y., Ekins, T.G., Garcia, B.T., Kim, H.Y., Nelson, A.C., Kim, N.J., and Steffensen, S.C (2016). The role of reactive oxygen species in methamphetamine self-administration and dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens. Addiction Biology, doi: 10.1111/adb.12419.