Pain and Neuroinflammation Imaging Lab

Grace Grmek, BA

Clinical Research Coordinator

I graduated from Rutgers University in May of 2022 with a B.A. in Cognitive Science and Psychology. During my undergrad, I worked as a research assistant under the guidance of Dr. Jenny Wang in the Cognition and Learning Center lab. With Dr. Wang’s help, I received an undergraduate research fellowship to begin my own research on the link between 4- to 6-year-old children’s numerical ability and active information-seeking behavior. I continued this work as my Senior Honors Thesis, ultimately receiving the Paul Robeson Thesis Scholar award for my research. I also had the opportunity to share my thesis work at the 2022 Cognitive Developmental Society Conference. In addition to my research experience, I worked as a learning assistant for an abnormal psychology course aiding the professor in class and hosting weekly study sessions. Further, I interned at the Rutgers Psychology Child Development Center where I observed and documented children’s cognitive, physical, and social-emotional development as well as created and implemented developmentally appropriate curriculum. 

While my undergraduate research focused on children’s cognition, I am excited to pivot to pain neuroimaging. I was drawn to the Loggia lab by the opportunity to expand my research skills as well as my scope of knowledge. I will be working on a new study examining neuroinflammation in patients with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). Previous studies conducted here at the lab have found neuroinflammation in patients with many different pain disorders. However, no studies currently exist that show neuroinflammation in patients with CTS. CTS surgery has proven to be a successful intervention, greatly relieving symptoms of pain. Using PET and MRI imaging on patients before and after surgery, we will be able to assess neuroinflammation in CTS. I am excited to be a part of this study and look forward to what we can learn about CTS.