The Department of Neuroscience recognizes faculty and staff each month whose hard work and dedication contributes to our mission and whom we’re proud to have on our team. Find out more about the spotlight of the month below!
December 2021 Staff Spotlight, Zachary Zimomra
Where are you from originally and what led you to Ohio State?
Originally from the Warren area in Northeast Ohio. After returning from North Carolina, I wanted to find a research position in my field of interest and be in Ohio again. I knew that Ohio State had a strong core and an expanding field of researchers and investigators in psychoneuroimmunology.
What lab do you work in and what type of research to do facilitate?
I am a Research Associate and Lab manager in Dr. Kokiko-Cochran’s lab in the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research. My projects have focused on how secondary stressors and/or immune challenges following traumatic brain injury effects neuroinflammation and ultimately behavior.
What do enjoy doing in your free time, outside of work?
Going on adventures with my son, girlfriend and her daughter. I love the outdoors specifically hiking, climbing, and camping. I love going to live sporting events; soccer, baseball, football. I enjoy live music as well as travelling and exploring new places.
What drew you to the field and the role you play in the Department of Neuroscience?
I have always been in interested in how the brain works, how we learn and remember and how our environment and everyday experiences no matter how big or small can shape us and influence our behavior. My first experience volunteering in a neuroscience research lab as an undergrad is what first sparked my interest in pursuing science as a career. Being able to discover and learn the answers to the budding questions that I may have is what drew me in and drives my passion for science; putting the pieces of the puzzle together while discovering new pieces and perspectives.
Who is your biggest role model and why?
I would have to say my grandmother who stoked my curiosity in puzzles and learning at a young age. My parents of course for raising me and instilling a certain virtue and fortitude. My gymnastics instructors growing up for teaching me the power of dedication, discipline, and conviction towards my goals. And various teachers/professor along the way that have challenged me and sparked my academic curiosity. Also, I always try to incorporate all the various lessons that have been learned through all of life’s experiences into my everyday living.
What is your favorite movie, book, or band/singer/songwriter and why?
Favorite movie is Field of Dreams showing anything can be possible with some conviction plus I love baseball. Big Dan Brown fan. Love all his books, very well researched and uses historical facts to spin and weave his stories which gives credibility and believability. Favorite bands: Pearl Jam, U2, and Fleetwood Mac.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I always find it exciting to formulate new ideas and to design new studies and experiments; but collecting the data and analyzing the results is what may be the most rewarding; being able to add that missing piece of the overall puzzle and to use that knowledge to build other ideas.
Do you have any insights or advice to those who are just starting out or are interested in Neuroscience research?
I would say get involved. Look at individual investigator’s research and volunteer in a lab that you may find interesting in either the goals and aims of their research or specific procedures.
What are some hidden talents of yours?
I love to do Ukrainian Easter eggs and other different artistic projects.
What else should we know about you?
I love to cook and I am teaching myself the guitar, and I love puzzles.