ROBERT ALEX KAUFMAN
Research + Innovation
My name is Robert, but most people just call me Rob.
I’m currently a PhD Student in the Department of Cognitive Science at University of California, San Diego.
Previously, I was a researcher at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital studying the effects of yoga and meditation on the brain.
Driven and permanently curious, I strive to see the world from new angles and find novel solutions to age-old problems.
Numbers and diagrams excite me, and in my free time I love to apply my scientific mindset to creative projects, often aimed at product design, systems design, and user experience.
In 2015, I began working on a psychopharmacology experiment involving how aromas affect cognitive performance.
Currently about 79 million Americans are infected with Human Papillomavirus (HPV). In collaboration with the University of Maryland, we seek to decrease this number.
Though they've seen great improvements in recent years, yoga mats still aren't perfect. I'm currently working to understand consumer needs to improve mats for yogis everywhere.
o Magna Cum Laude with Research Distinction
o Health Science Scholars (HSS) Program
o GPA: 3.7/4.
o Studied the neurological changes associated with yoga and meditation under Dr. Sara Lazar
o Co-led multiple studies involving neuroimaging, electrophysiology, behavioral testing, and biological sampling including genetics and hematology
o Trained to administer neuropsychological tests, perform patient assessments, run fMRI scans, analyze data, and manage IRB documents
o Supervisor for 10+ research assistants; performed managerial duties such as hiring, training, organization, and delegation of work
o Acted as Social Director, managing outreach, marketing, social media, lab websites, and organization of internal events
o Studying psychophysical aspects of food perception, environmental influence on preference, and physiological responses to food and aroma under Dr. Christopher Simons
o Run psychophysical experiments on human subjects, perform statistical analysis (using Excel and SPSS) on collected data, assist with lab preparations for food perception experiments
o Present thesis research project at conferences and poster sessions
o Working in collaboration with researchers at UMD
o Conducting an experiment at Ohio State University evaluating educational campaigns with the goal of understanding how advertisements affect the intentions and health decisions of young adults
o Independently developed, designed, tested, and analyzed a psychopharmacology experiment studying the effects of aroma on cognitive performance
o Used C programming, Excel, PowerPoint, Compusense Cloud, and SPSS for development and analysis
o Studied retinotopic memory and perception under Dr. Julie Golomb
o Ran cognitive neuroscience experiments using eye trackers and Matlab programming
o Assisted in running sensory tests to provide customer insights for private clients, including performing consumer, discrimination, and affective testing of food-related products
o Assisted in preparation, administration, and statistical analysis of tests using Compusense Cloud Software for data collection
o Helped TA a class designed to teach students about sensory perception and measurement