Sahba Seddighi is a sophomore Haslam Scholar majoring in Neuroplasticity with Emphasis on Neurodegenerative Disorders and Applied Neurolinguistics through the College Scholars Program. At UT, she has continued to pursue her avid interest in research through her involvement with the Department of Psychology and the Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures. Since the start of her sophomore year, she has worked in Dr. Matthew Cooper’s Behavioral Neuroscience laboratory, investigating play-induced neuroplasticity and vulnerability to future psychosocial stress using a social defeat model in Syrian hamsters. She is also co-Principal Investigator in Dr. Harriet Bowden’s Neurolinguistics laboratory and is currently in the final steps of designing a project to study the neurocognitive processes involved in the acquisition of a second language by late language learners, primarily via electroencephalography/ event-related potentials (EEG/ERP). Outside of the laboratory, she serves on the Chancellor’s Top 25 Initiative Research Advisory Committee, the Undergraduate Research Director Search Committee, and the Undergraduate Research Advisory Committee, is the Sciences and Engineering Managing Editor for Pursuit: The Journal of Undergraduate Research, has served as chairman for the first annual UTK Brain Awareness Week, is a Biology Teaching Assistant, an Honors Ambassador, and a Senator for the College of Arts and Sciences.
Sahba spent the summer after her freshman year as a research intern at the NIH National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, where she studied the etiology of Multiple Sclerosis through an independent project looking at various soluble factors in supernatants of intrathecal B cell lines from patients with MS. This summer, she will be traveling to Stanford University as a fully funded Amgen Scholar to work alongside some of the nation’s finest scientists on a project focused on her interests. She hopes that such opportunities, along with her experience at UT, will help focus her interests as she builds her research goals in hopes of pursuing a PhD or MD-PhD program in the near future.
For more information about the Amgen Scholars program, click here.