Courtney McDermott is a Neuroscience PhD Candidate and 2022 D-SPAN Scholar who has personal and professional interests in investigating the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disorders. She graduated from Queens College, CUNY in Spring 2018 and received a BA in Neuroscience-Biology. Throughout her undergraduate years, she worked in Dr. Carolyn Pytte's behavioral neuroscience laboratory, was a member of the MARC-U-STAR honors program, participated in two summer undergraduate research programs (Rutgers & Boston Children's Hospital), served as a Peer Mentor in the HSI-STEM program, and contributed to a scientific commentary published in a peer-reviewed journal (JNeuroSci). She is currently pursuing a PhD at Rutgers University in the laboratory of Dr. Emanuel DiCicco-Bloom, co-sponsored by Dr. Martin Blaser. Outside of the laboratory, Courtney is highly involved in science outreach and advocacy. She serves on the Board of the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine Diversity Committee and volunteers at the Rutgers Center for Adult Autism and Services. She attributes her success in pursuing her career goals to the exceptional mentoring she has received and is enthusiastic to serve as a mentor for the next generation of scientists.