Anna Asratian wins medal
Anna Asratian, master’s student in Experimental and Medical Biosciences, has been awarded a service medal from the Faculty of Health Sciences.
You won the medal for your commitment to advancing the medical biology programme as well as your efforts to encourage young people to study science. What exactly have you done?
I have tried to improve our programme, and to involve other students in that work. The programme is already good, but I have taken care to present our thoughts to the programme board, who make decisions about the programme. But most of all, I have worked with the non-profit organisation Young Researchers to get high school pupils more interested in science and technology. I love learning, and seeing other people’s eyes light up when they understand a new concept. We have had weekend courses, in chemistry for instance, and our aim is to inspire the pupils. Another project has been to get them to conceptualise how the energy of the future could be.
You’re working on your master’s now, and previously you took the three-year programme in medical biology. Why did you choose this programme?
Because it leads to a research career. My aim is to get a doctoral studentship, and it’s good training for a career as a researcher.
Are you interested in a particular field?
Neurobiology. I’m fascinated by how the brain works and how behaviours develop. My bachelor’s thesis was about stress, and now I’m writing about depression. Before I started studying medical biology I took courses in psychology, but I realised I prefer the depth of biology. My aim is to bring the two fields together in my research.
It seems like lots of young people are interested in that – the connections between psychology and biology.
Yes, perhaps. Maybe it’s partly due to the entertainment industry. There are lots of films and TV series about analyses of our behaviour, linked to how the brain works, such as The Mentalist, Lie to me and Criminal Minds.
What’s your reaction to the medal you’ve received?
It’s a huge honour. It’s great to get this sort of attention, and that the university shows its appreciation when a student tries to improve a study programme – and that those in charge listen.
What are your plans for the future?
To do research. Hopefully to be professor in neurobiology. But I’ve got some way to go to that, of course.
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Last updated: 2017-02-13