Olivia M Fitch, PhD
Dr. Fitch is the graduate-level academic coach at UTHealth School of Nursing. She has been conducting academic research and mentoring students from the elementary to the post-graduate levels for 15 years. She joined the UTHealth faculty in spring 2016, after completing her thesis research at Baylor College of Medicine in collaboration with the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and Medical School.
Her research interest is studying the physiology of normal brain development and the effects of sensory deprivation or neurodegeneration on normal synaptic function. She has published three articles in peer-reviewed journals and is currently revising a manuscript on the effects of visual deprivation on the synaptic plasticity of distinct synaptic pathways onto common cells in the primary visual cortex of mice.
Fitch has participated is an NINDS neurodegenerative disease consortium and is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, where she has presented her research findings in numerous national meetings. The training of future investigators is the top priority in Fitch’s career – from judging an elementary school science fair to training faculty on specialized techniques for scientific research. She is currently developing an academic success curriculum for the graduate students at the School of Nursing that she hopes will serve as a model for other graduate training programs.
Among her significant honors are participation in the Merck Scholars Program and recipient of the Carilion Research Day Award for Excellence in Presentation of Student Research. She earned a PhD in Neuroscience from Baylor College of Medicine and received her BA in Biology from Cornell University in 2000.