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Merima Sabanovic

Merima is a SSRP Fellow who is working on creating and co-leading a research track for the SSRP. Here, she talks about her excitement around being a first-time SSRP Fellow!

Merima is a Postdoctoral Associate in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine in the lab of Dr. Francis Lee. This year, she is serving as a SSRP Fellow, where she will work to create and co-lead a neuroscience-based research track for the SSRP.

Where were you before Rockefeller?

“I majored in Biology with a specialization in Brain & Cognitive Science and a minor in Psychology at New York University Abu Dhabi and then switched the sunshine of the desert for grey skies of UK for my masters and PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Oxford.”

What is something you did recently that you are proud of?

“I am trying to get better at recognizing my needs and then actually responding to them. I’ve just booked tickets to fly home and have some rest after a long experiment instead of pushing on and thinking I have to work non-stop; burned-out undergrad Merima would be really proud that we are doing things like that now. ”

Share one thing about science that brings you joy.

“It is the absolute coolest thing that we generate new knowledge. Yes, it sucks being lost and not knowing what you are doing 70% of the time, but that’s the whole point because we are trying to find something that no one knows yet and if you get super lucky to discover something extra big and new, you will be the first person in the whole world who knows that little part of how the universe works.”

Outside of your research and science, what do you do for fun?

“Aside of the usual TV show binging marathons and buying books that I don’t have time to actually read, I am loving exploring New York through different fitness classes, which is quite an adventure for me as a very non-athletic person.”

What are you most looking forward to when mentoring students with RockEDU?

“I just love seeing that excitement and inspiration in students having their first lab research experience and seeing how they start seeing themselves in the ‘scientist’ role.”

What advice would you give to incoming students?

“I’d say come with an open mind of what success will look like in this program. Don’t fret too much about if your experiment or analysis ‘works’ or doesn’t work. The actual data result is only a side bonus. You just make sure you do your best and we will make sure you learn as much as you can.”

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