Selected from a pool of 17,000 applicants, IU School of Public Health-Bloomington doctoral student Ms. Jasmine Mirdamadi has earned a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation to pursue her research. Ms. Mirdamadi is a first year doctoral student in the school’s motor control program under the guidance of Assistant Professor Dr. Hannah Block.
“NSF fellowships are prestigious and only awarded to the very best students in the country,” says Dr. David Koceja, chair of the kinesiology department in the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington. “We’re proud of Jasmine and look forward to working with her as she continues her research into human sensorimotor processing.”
Ms. Mirdamadi’s research focuses on how the brain uses sensory information to control movement and acquire new skills. Using a noninvasive brain stimulation technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation, she is able to alter specific parts of the brain and then study the effects on sensory processing and movement.
“I’m particularly interested in understanding the changes in the brain that support motor learning,” she explains. “I hope to ultimately help develop interventions to support rehabilitation in individuals with sensorimotor deficits, such as stroke survivors.”
According to the National Science Foundation, “the Graduate Research Fellowship Program is a vital part of our efforts to foster and promote excellence in U.S. science, technology, engineering, and mathematics by recognizing talent broadly from across the nation. These awards are provided to individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant research achievements, and they are investments that will help propel this country’s future innovations and economic growth.”
In addition to her research, Mirdamadi will also be mentoring students in two IU undergraduate programs – the Center for Women in Technology and the STEM Summer Scholars Institute – as part of her fellowship to help broaden participation of women and under-represented minorities in STEM fields.
The 2,000 fellows selected to receive these awards represent nearly 500 academic institutions in the U.S., and more than half of recipients in 2016 are women.
For more information about the research being conducted at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, visit publichealth.indiana.edu/research.