60 seconds with Paulina Sengeridis
2 December 2019
Paulina Sengeridis is a Master’s student in the NEW Clinical and Therapeutic Neuroscience Course. Prior to starting at Oxford, she completed her Bachelor’s science degree in Cognitive Neuroscience at Brown University. At Brown, she was a research assistant in Shenhav Neuroscience Lab, which examined the neurobiology of cognitive control and decision-making. Originally from Moscow, Russia, Paulina moved to attend high school and then college in the U. S., where she plans to return upon graduation from Oxford and pursue a career in healthcare.
Tell us a little about yourself and what attracted you to studying at the University of Oxford?
The opportunity to learn first-hand from the leading research professors in the field of psychiatry and neuroscience strongly appealed to me. As an undergraduate student in cognitive neuroscience I was excited to unlock a deeper understanding of the most effective clinical research methods and how empirical findings could advance the development of therapeutics and pharmaceuticals. I was also attracted to the technologically forward-thinking approach of the course with its inclusion of computational methods and digital health modules. These technologies help us move toward more efficacious treatment delivery and drug discovery, as well as, allow for a more detailed understanding of the underlying mechanisms of neuropathology. Equipped with the knowledge of translational methods, I hope to take part in the development of tools and technologies providing better care for patients.
What is your vision for the team/project/research you study and work with?
I was inspired to contribute to current research focused on the neurobiology of migraine headache disorder through my first individual term project. I aim to further clarify the role of candidate genes and neural receptors in migraine neuropathology. The project will add to Department of Psychiatry the ongoing research, as well as resolve some of my personal queries, as someone who is prone to migraines myself.
What is currently at the top of your to-do list?
Apart from staying on top of course work, I am trying to connect with academic and professional specialists in sciences. I am considering further pursuing a career in healthcare with an eye on clinical practice, and I am hoping that conversations with members of Oxford community will aid me in identifying the next steps in my career path. Through my Master’s course, I connected with a number of research professors in the Departments of Psychiatry
and Pharmacology to learn about their laboratory work and how their interests developed into a specific research focus. Furthermore, I also met with neuroscience consultants, whose insights about integrating academic expertise to develop new tools and technologies particularly resonated with my career aspirations.
How did you get to where you are today?
Looking back on my journey until this moment, I think my interest in clinical neuroscience and in the Master's course at Oxford developed through my multi-cultural upbringing. Growing up in Russia, I moved to the US for college, before arriving in the UK this year. I have had the opportunity to learn about quite radically different countries, cultures, and people. The unique challenges that came with this journey nurtured my curiosities about the mind, brain, and behaviour, and they continue to drive my interest in clinical sciences and global health practices.
Who or what inspires you?
I feel inspired when I see someone's genuine interest in something. Whether it be a sport, or making art, or simply enjoying a book, the spark in people's eyes that conveys their authentic feeling of excitement and enthusiasm, is my personal motivator. It encourages me to experience similar moments both in my academic work and hobbies.
If you were not in your study programme currently, what would you like to be doing?
I would probably take some time to travel. I really love experiencing the art and architecture in different countries and examining how they might shape the culture and people’s collective consciousness. With Vienna as my favourite architectural city so far, my next dream destination is Copenhagen.