Suzanne Frisbee

PhD Student
suzanne frisbee

I am from Raleigh and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Neuroscience from East Carolina University in 2012.

I can trace my interest in neuroscience all the way back to 10th grade. I remember my biology teacher explaining the complexities of the brain and specifically remember having an “aha” moment, understanding that we would never fully understand the intricacies of the brain. This shaped my life’s direction. Upon graduating with my bachelor’s in neuroscience, I was lucky enough to get hired in a neurobiology lab focusing on the interoceptive effects of alcohol and nicotine on drug-seeking behaviors and relapse after a stressful situation. I thought for sure I was on a direct path to my chosen career. However, after a few months of spending countless hours alone in the lab, I quickly realized that was not the type of research I wanted to devote my career to. I craved human interaction and wanted to start working with people. This, as well as my mother’s constant prodding for the past 21 years, heavily influenced my shift toward nursing.

I first attended DUSON as an ABSN student and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation scholar and graduated with honors in 2016. I began my nursing career as an operating room registered nurse and have since become a certified perioperative nurse (CNOR).

Duke was my number one choice for completing my PhD because it fosters a community of teamwork and commitment. When I was an ABSN student, I experienced firsthand how devoted the staff are to their students and how committed they are to continuing their own education. Since graduating I have felt confident that I could still reach out to any staff member for assistance or advice. I knew I would need this strong support of the Duke staff during my graduate studies. An emphasis on leadership and professionalism is the backbone of DUSON, and that is what I wanted on my side as I sought my terminal degree.

Ideally, I want to work for a university conducting my own research and teaching driven individuals. I would like to somehow combine all of my previous knowledge and experience to incorporate some type of stress reduction intervention that aids in controlling addiction. Additionally, I’d like to examine pathways through which addiction develops and figure out a way to prevent adolescents from spiraling down this path, the ultimate goal being to better the lives and health outcomes of patients with an addiction.

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