What do you do?
I am a neuroscientist and also a clinical psychologist. I am interested in studying how we perceive pain and how pain can get alleviated in patients who are suffering. At the moment, I am focusing on understanding pain perception -as a complex phenomenon- through studying the interaction between pain, emotion, cognition and brain activities related to this interaction. Understanding these connections have important implications for chronic pain patients that may result in yielding better drug-based or alternative therapies to minimize pain experiences.
Why did you choose this field?
I love to learn new things and challenge ideas. Research allows me to test and challenge my ideas, which is very rewarding for me. During high school and mainly during my bachelor, I was always interested in knowing the relationship between body and brain. I think “pain” is an excellent example to show this connection. Also, pain affected life of millions of peoples all over the world, and I hope my research can contribute to find a way to minimize this negative effect.
What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?
I wish younger me knows that doing a Ph.D. at a well-known university in the world, and in a second language is possible. I had and still have some fear of learning something very new, but I am trying to push myself to overcome this fear. Watching and tracking myself during this coping and learning process is fascinating and very rewarding for me.
Why do you love working in STEM?
Learning and then sharing new findings with ambitious and passionate people is extremely fulfilling. I always enjoy having discussions about such ideas with interesting people around the world. Working in STEM comes with so many advantages including learning new things, discussing about your ideas, travelling and sharing your research. Also, meeting new people and making friendships and collaborations is another amazing side of being in STEM. I have not got bored of doing what I am doing now. By being in STEM, I learned and am still improving on how to be patient and cope with criticisms and fears.
Best advice for next generation?
If you are interested in STEM, participate in as many relevant events and conferences as you can. Meet people, talk to them about your interest. We all enjoy talking and sharing our interests.
Always appreciate getting feedback, suggestions and advice from experts. They will guide you in the best possible way. This advice is so valuable and comes from experience.
Believe in yourself and spend your time with ambitious and positive people. It will help you boost your energy and confidence. And be hopeful.
Inspo quote / fun fact / role model
My favorite app is Twitter. It provides me the opportunity to get connected to so many scientists around the world and to know their research and their point of views in a friendly way