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Research Community

Trainee Spotlight: Eryn Perry

Eryn is a PhD student exploring how the brain and cranium develop together in early life.

Growing up, Eryn Perry’s love of science grew out of an “obsession” with dinosaurs and an interest in computers. But it was her mom who inspired her to focus her career on early brain development.

“As a kindergarten teacher, my mom was often the first person to recognize that a child needed extra help due to, for example, a learning disability. But by that point the child might already be very far behind their peers,” she shares. “I realized I wanted to study children’s brains so we could detect issues earlier—so children could get the help they need to succeed.”

Today, Eryn is a USC Neuroscience PhD student. Working in the lab of Natasha Lepore, PhD, she is studying how the cranium (skull) and brain develop alongside each other in early life.

“By segmenting gray matter on MRI scans of young children’s brains, we are building a computational model of the size, shape and structure of the cranium and brain,” she explains. “This is a model that clinicians could then use when assessing typical development in a child.”

Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, Eryn enjoys playing with her dog, Toby, photographing nature, going to USC football games and metal concerts, and playing Dungeons & Dragons with her friends.