RIVER FALLS -- University of Wisconsin-River Falls senior Sophie Ackerman was named the Drs. Ann and William Lydecker Student Research Award recipient for 2021, according to a news release.
The award recognizes an undergraduate’s outstanding research efforts and service to the campus. The award has existed since 2011.
Ackerman is majoring in neuroscience and biology, and will graduate this May. After playing a supporting role in a neuroscience research project as a freshman, she continued her own studies. Her projects focused on depression and anxiety. Ackerman used rat models to research the brain-gut connection as well as the role the medial prefrontal cortex plays in mental illness symptoms. Ackerman has presented her research results in conferences California, Georgia and Chicago.
Ackerman, of Marshfield, worked in the Undergraduate Research, Scholarly and Creative Activity Office for two years and supported the office during a transition in leadership and staffing. She led the student USCRA group as president and co-president for two years. The student groups reviews and scores grant proposals submitted by students to travel for presentation, competition or attendance in conferences and events.
Ackerman has also served on the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Council during her junior and senior year. She was a student member of the River Falls SciTech Partners and Advocates Council and was the 2020 recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Students.
Ackerman will work with BrainXell, a small Madison startup that cultures neurons from induced stem cells for research, after graduation.