Begüm Aydin is a developmental neuroscientist who wants to understand how the environment affects the nervous system. By focusing on the nervous system inside the gut, often called “the second brain”, she is investigating the effects of gut microbiota and immune activity on the development and maintenance of gut neurons. By pursuing how neurons develop and recover upon microbial insults and inflammation, Aydin hopes to provide insights into neurodegenerative diseases, such as ALS and Parkinson’s disease, where pathological inflammation causes neuronal damage. Aydin is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Rockefeller University in New York. She received her Ph.D. from New York University and her B.S from Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey. She is also a Junior Fellow at the Simons Society of Fellows and was recently named as 2022 HHMI Hanna Gray Fellow.