February 8, 2018
Our first Ambassador of the week for Spring Semester 2018 is Sandrine Jabbour.
Sandrine is a third-year student majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology on the Pre-med Track as well as working on minors in both French and Psychology.
Sandrine has been a Research Assistant at the cMAP Lab, directed by Dr. Rosie Cowell in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, for three semesters now. During the first two semesters, she helped run studies on human subjects. However, this semester “[She] will be working on a project that is designed to test a theory of the relation between “grid cells” -- neurons which fire in a hexagonal grid tiling a spatial environment -- and memory”.
You could think of grid cells as the GPS Coordinates of the brain. She will be developing a perceptual learning paradigm to train individuals in color space navigation. “Once we have trained experts we will try to look for the neural response of Grid Cells using a fMRI, hopefully this summer or next year as an honors thesis”.
Sandrine chose Biochemistry because of her AP Biology teacher. She knew she wanted to be on the pre-medical track but was very indecisive when it came to picking majors. “His reasoning was that with a Biochemistry degree unlike Biology, which was my initial choice, one would have a wider range of job opportunities if they choose to take a gap year or two”.
Sandrine applied to the STEM program as a first year because she wanted to be a part of a community of students who had similar interests and background to hers. “ My favorite part of stem AP other than mentoring is the research component. One of my bigger fears coming in as a freshman was not only finding a lab, but finding one that I would genuinely enjoy and benefit from. This program made it one of the easiest transitions one could hope for”. Other than being part of the program, she is part of the STEM administration. She is responsible for keeping our social media up to date, working on our upcoming website, writing our “Student of the Week” posts, and helping with some data management.
After UMass, she will be applying to both medical schools and D.O schools. “I will be taking a gap year prior to continuing my academic career in hopes of gaining more experience in the clinical field.”
Besides academics; Sandrine is a French tutor, she’s a caregiver at a nursing home, and she’s part of the Habitat for Humanities chapter on campus. “This summer I plan to get an internship or just volunteer at any of the Boston healthcare organizations such as Boston health care for the Homeless, Alzheimer’s buddies, or Veteran Affairs healthcare system.”