Samhitha Balaji

Fulbright/University of Sheffield Award

Samhitha graduated with a BS in Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience and a minor in Computer Science. Samhitha’s interest in research piqued when she was awarded the Frances Velay Fellowship, investigating the photoreduction of chemical warfare agent simulants. She later found her niche in neurological research during her senior project, involving spinal cord axon regeneration through novel protein inhibition. 
Upon entering Temple University (TU), Samhitha explored the interdisciplinarity of medicine and research by studying various fields including catalytic chemistry, computer programming, and neurocognition. Along with her academic background, Samhitha’s time as a medical assistant and undergraduate researcher have prepared her to pursue an MSc in Translational Neuroscience at the University of Sheffield. During her Fulbright, Samhitha aims to explore the intersection of clinical and laboratory studies to better understand and treat neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or dementia. 
Beyond the lab environment, Samhitha has spent time as a computer science teacher’s assistant and as a volunteer at the local hospital and underdeveloped communities of Philadelphia. Both experiences have allowed her to discover the importance of giving back to the community one is surrounded by, something she is looking forward to continuing in Sheffield.