Ryan Rakocxy earned his undergraduate degree from Wright State in Psychology with a concentration in Behavioral Neuroscience, and his Master's from WSU in Neuroscience and Physiology,. He is currently in his first semester of the BMS PhD program. Rakoczy was accepted into the program in February 2017 and started in the Fall of 2018.
Rakoczy worked in the laboratory of Chris Wyatt, PhD., where they studied the carotid bodies: tiny little organs that "sense" how much oxygen and carbon dioxide is in your arterial blood supply. If blood CO2 gets too high or O2 too low, the carotid bodies send messages to the brain saying "we need to breathe more to correct this blood-gas imbalance!" The research holds promise for finding the underlying mechanisms causing sleep apnea and SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome - the carotid bodies are implicated to be underdeveloped in babies who die from SIDS. ), and a variety of other things that effect breathing.
The best advice given to him as an undergrad was to start working in a research lab. "Whether you're a future medical school or graduate school applicant, having research experience will set you apart from the pack. There are tens, if not hundreds, of labs on campus, all conducting research right now that you could potentially get involved with. It's never to early to start making advancements in science".