Heading into her final year of graduate study, Sriparna Ghosal has accumulated an impressive array of honors—including an American Heart Association fellowship and an Albert J. Ryan Foundation fellowship. A student in the lab of James Herman, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience and director of the Stress Neurobiology Laboratory at UC’s Reading Campus, she is focusing her research on the neurobiological basis of stress regulation. Here, she answers a few of our questions about her interests on and off campus.
Tell us about your background.
I was born and raised in Calcutta, India. I completed my master’s degree at the University of Calcutta, where I majored in biophysics. I moved to the United States and began my doctoral studies in the UC Neuroscience Graduate Program in September 2010.
What prompted you to continue your studies in the United States?
After obtaining my master’s degree, I was interested in pursuing a higher education in neuroscience. In my opinion, the United States has the most to offer in this field, so I came here.
What is your specialty within the field of neuroscience? How did you become interested in it?
I find the brain to be the most remarkable structure, and I have been especially fascinated by the unanswered questions related to altered brain function and psychiatric disorders. So, after finishing my master’s studies, I worked on various neuroscience and psychiatry related topics. Then, I was gradually guided toward researching the neurobiological basis of stress regulation.
What do you credit your success to?
I love what I do. I want to thank especially my mentor, Dr. Herman, for teaching me how to communicate my science, develop my projects and integrate ideas. He is a great mentor, and without his encouragement and generous help, it would not have been possible for me to compete for these awards. I am also thankful to the postdoctoral fellows, my fellow graduate students and other members of the lab for maintaining such a great and enjoyable working atmosphere.
What are your plans for the future?
Now that I am starting my fourth year of graduate studies, I am focused on finishing up my dissertation research. My long-term goal is to establish an independent research laboratory focused on understanding the neural mechanisms of stress integration. My plan is for this to be at an academic institution, where I can combine my love of teaching with my passion for research.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to play chess or watch cricket with my husband. Also, I enjoy cooking and trying new recipes.