Undergraduate Research Program

Erik Bruce Philipson

Major: Neuroscience
Mentor: Monica Vavilala ( Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Pediatrics), Nancy Temkin (Neurological Surgery, Biostatistics, Rehabilitation Medicine)

Contact: erikbp@uw.edu

Current research project: Symptoms and Accommodations during Return to Learn Care Plan Utilization after Concussion

Erik is a graduating senior with a degree in Neuroscience at the University of Washington. He is interested in increasing our understanding of the long-term effects of traumatic brain injuries on teenagers so that we are able to create effective interventions that will minimize the burden of experiencing such an injury. He is currently working on a project that is studying the symptoms experienced by high school students after a traumatic brain injury, and the adjustment their schools are making for them during their return to learning. During his time at the UW, he has also worked on projects investigating legal guardianship after traumatic brain injury, and quality of life outcomes in high school students after traumatic brain injury. After graduating from the UW, Erik hopes to enroll in a MD/PhD program.


Translate your work so that we can all understand its importance
When, how, and why did you get involved in undergraduate research?
Erik became involved in research during his senior year of high school when he did an internship at the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center (HIPRC), working with professors studying the effects of traumatic brain injuries. During this internship, he realized that he enjoyed pushing the boundaries of human knowledge and fell in love with the research process. When he began his freshman year at the UW, he began a more active role in several research groups associated with HIPRC. After learning the ropes during his freshman year, he became a student member of HIPRC and began working on his own research projects under several mentors’ guidance.

What advice would you give a student who is considering getting involved in undergraduate research?
Do not be afraid to fail. Failure is a natural part of the research process and is a mechanism by which we can learn a lot about ourselves and the world around us. Research has the potential to be the highlight of one’s undergraduate experience.