Nadia Purbowati

Briefly describe your applied learning experience: 

I worked at the Center for Understanding Biology using Imaging Technology (CUBIT) Lab at Stony Brook Hospital in New York. This lab uses advanced imaging modalities such as PET, MRI, DTI scans to investigate neuropsychiatric disorders and their treatment. My specific project involved assisting Dr. Doreen Olvet to replicate her study using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to study suicide attempters as well as patients with Major Depressive Disorder. Along with this, I also assisted in working on the EMBARC clinical trial (Establishing Moderators and Biosignatures of Antidepressant Response for Clinical Care) and the Pathophysiology and Treatment of Bipolar Disorder study, reviewing brain scans and determining whether or not they were appropriate for the trial using brain imaging software as well as reviewing psychiatric surveys and practicing data entry for both trials.  I worked at the Center for Understanding Biology using Imaging Technology (CUBIT) Lab at Stony Brook Hospital in New York. This lab uses advanced imaging modalities such as PET, MRI, DTI scans to investigate neuropsychiatric disorders and their treatment. My specific project involved assisting Dr. Doreen Olvet to replicate her study using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to study suicide attempters as well as patients with Major Depressive Disorder. Along with this, I also assisted in working on the EMBARC clinical trial (Establishing Moderators and Biosignatures of Antidepressant Response for Clinical Care) and the Pathophysiology and Treatment of Bipolar Disorder study, reviewing brain scans and determining whether or not they were appropriate for the trial using brain imaging software as well as reviewing psychiatric surveys and practicing data entry for both trials.  

How did you get involved in this applied learning experience and what did you hope to gain from it?: 

I gained involvement through a variety of personal e-mails reaching out to directors of Psychiatric research labs. I hoped to gain an in depth hands-on experience in a research lab, working with biomedical engineers aiming to move the field of psychology and mental illness into more of a holistic, health care perspective. 

What did you gain from this experience? What was challenging? What did you learn?: 

I taught how research is conducted due to our weekly Lab Gab meetings which consists of MD's and PhD’s presenting their own research/other research. I also had first hand experience due to the work that I was able to help publish as well as data entry for other projects going on in the lab. Due to these experiences, I was able to learn not only the basic biology of the brain but also the minute complexities, and how they relate to mental illnesses. Along with this, I was also able to delve deeper into the EMBARC clinical trial (Establishing Markers for Depression) by the constant discussion of the complexity of depression as a disorder, and all of the tests one must conduct in order to succeed in this clinical trial. The skills that I've developed most would have to be specific skills such as using brain imaging software’s, how to write in a professional and clinical ways for medical/psychiatric journals and how to use Excel for data entry. 

In what way will this experience make you a more viable candidate when you are seeking a job or applying for graduate study?: 

For most graduate doctoral programs, research experience is required as well as clinical experience. By having experience in a prestigious research lab, working along side ground breaking mentors and taking part in revolutionary clinical trials, I will be viewed as a strong, well-rounded candidate for doctoral programs and postdoctoral internships.