Abigail Abrahams

Neuropharmacology PhD student at the University of Nottingham

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Don't let anyone, or yourself, put you off studying something you're passionate about.

What do you do?

My current research focuses on the role of oxytocin in social cognition. Using rodent models we are aiming to determine the specific neural mechanisms that drive oxytocin’s prosocial effects, and its potential use as an adjunctive therapy to treat social deficits in disorders such as schizophrenia.

Why did you choose this field?

I have always known I wanted to do something in science because it was always my favourite subject at school. I originally thought I wanted do something like medicine. It wasn’t until I was studying psychology and chemistry A Levels that I started to become really interested in disorders such as schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s and decided that I was far more interested in the research side of science, as opposed to something more patient focused. During my undergraduate pharmacology degree I became particularly interested in how drugs and the mechanisms that underlie these disorders affect behaviour, so decided to pursue a PhD in the field of behavioural neuropharmacology

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

Getting a PhD position studying something I am so passionate about!

Why do you love working in STEM?

My favourite part of working in STEM is analysing data and discovering something new, however small it is! I still get excited every time I finish analysing data and get to see what we have found during the experiment. I am also fortunate enough to work alongside some fantastic scientists who I love working with.

Best advice for next generation?

Don't let anyone, or yourself, put you off studying something you're passionate about and always believe you are good enough!

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

“Impossible only means that you haven’t found the solution yet.”

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