Meet Ben Kolber, Ph.D.

KolberSince graduating from UD in 2003 with bachelors' degrees in biology and psychology, Ben Kolber earned a doctorate in neuroscience from Washington University in St. Louis. He is now a post-doctoral research fellow at Washington University. Though Kolber has moved on from Dayton, he considers UD an integral part of his career formation. Both in and out of the classroom, Kolber found the biology department to be influential in his life experiences.

"In general, I found all of the biology professors at UD to be incredibly accessible. Whether it was in-class questions or out of class problems, I was never turned away by anyone in the department," he said. "Kelly Williams was always interested in my experiences and offered honest and thoughtful advice when I began thinking about a career in the biomedical sciences. Carissa Krane provided me with an incredible opportunity to learn both the basic and advanced laboratory skills that I would later need to be successful in a research career. Her passion for undergraduate research has continued to influence me today as I have had the opportunity to mentor undergraduates."

During his time in St. Louis, Kolber's work has focused on the endocrine system, stress and psychiatric illness. Kolber and his colleagues have published their work in a variety of research journals. He is currently studying the amygdala, an emotion-processing center of the brain. Kolber recently demonstrated that the amygdala can induce a pain-like state in the absence of any tissue injury, something he is continuing to research.

Kolber enjoyed his UD experience and considers it to be a great starting block for his scientific career. He hopes to continue his biomedical research after completing his post doctoral-work and teach at a small university, specializing in endocrinology, stress and neuroscience.

"UD was an incredible place to learn and grow up," Kolber said. "One of the most important aspects to this experience that has continued to resonate with me is the breadth of knowledge that I was exposed to at UD.  Whether it involved non-science classes in the humanities, service in the community or immersion trips abroad, the broad range of experiences and areas that I encountered at UD has allowed me to maintain a balanced perspective on my own work and the world around me."