Don Vaughn is a San Diego native, who moved to Los Angeles from Houston in 2013 to pursue a life of music and neuroscience. During the day he is a PhD student at UCLA, where he uses functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to research freewill and group social dynamics. Specifically, Don investigates neural correlates to explore why humans respond more favorably towards people with similar beliefs and how those preferences can be modulated. At night, Don DJs and drums at clubs and events. As a DJ, he plays house, top40s, old-school rap (among other things), in addition to original mashups and live remixes. As a drummer, he teams up with DJs, remixing beats on the fly, adding a shot of live energy to an otherwise electronic medium. Over the last few months he has been working to integrate his scientific and musical talents by building an electronic drum set using the Arduino open-source prototyping platform.
In 2008 Don completed dual degrees in Physics (BS) and Economics (BA) at Stanford University. During his sophomore year, Don co-founded the Stanford chapter of CO-SIGN, College Student Interest Group in Neurology, which retains renowned faculty to give public lectures, advises current undergraduates on neuro-related course options, and connects students with internship opportunities. In his senior year, Don created and co-taught a course entitled “Current Topics in Neuroscience” at Stanford.
Don is committed to serving his community and is a member of Rotary International, a board member of The Children’s Music Foundation which provides music lessons and inspiration to disadvantaged youth, and a volunteer with Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston which provides assistance to refugees. He also regularly donates his music services at fundraising events for numerous non-profit organization including The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Pink Door Beast Cancer Foundation, and Blue Cure for Prostate Cancer.