Aiysha Amjad is approaching graduation this spring with plans of heading to Harvard University for dental school next. Amjad will graduate with bachelor’s degrees in both biology and neuroscience. She began as a biology major, but after discovering the overlap between neuroscience and biology, she added the neuroscience double-major. These degrees allowed her to finish dental school prerequisites, and the upper-level science courses have increased her critical thinking and research skills.
Amjad got involved with Dr. James Marrs fetal alcohol syndrome zebrafish research during her first semester of freshman year.
Amjad explains, “The lab aims to understand the syndrome from a molecular genetics and developmental biology point of view by focusing on what specific genes are responsible for the myriad of birth defects and changes in gene expression as a result of fetal alcohol syndrome.”
Her time working with Dr. James Marrs has led her to appreciate his guidance and left a lasting impression on her.
Outside of class, Amjad is a big proponent of getting involved. Amjad is most involved in organizing the IUPUI’s homecoming canoe race, Regatta. This past fall, she served as Executive Director and oversaw every aspect of the event. Amjad has also been a PLTL (Peer-Led Team Learning) Recitation Leader. IUPUI has adopted the PLTL method of student teaching where students collaborate and learn difficult chemistry content together. Amjad is also president of the Pre-Dental Club which has allowed her to learn and teach others about the pre-dental track. Finally, she is part of the Honors College peer mentor program, a program that matches incoming honors freshmen with current honors students to ease the transition from high school to college.
Amjad has made many memories in the past four years here at IUPUI. Most recently, as a member of the Herbert Presidential Scholars student processional, she was invited to the inauguration of President Whitten, Indiana University’s first female president. She is incredibly proud of receiving the Lilly Endowment Scholarship which gives full tuition for attending any Indiana public or private nonprofit college or university. Her favorite memories here were made at the annual Science Picnic where student organizations are celebrated at the beginning of the fall semester. Aiysha has also developed her closest friendships through her involvement at IUPUI and in classes. She encourages other science students to seek out mentors and don’t go it alone.
Amjad chose IUPUI because of its proximity to leading scientists and commitment to its students. With passionate professors and staff and plenty of study path options, Amjad is confident in her decision to spend four years here. She encourages high school students to visit the School of Science and get in touch with science ambassadors who can clarify any questions they may have.