During the 16th International Student Congress, students got the opportunity to see what it means to be a researcher through hands-on experience. They chose a topic, researched on it with the help of a supervisor. At the end, they presented their findings in a 10-minute oral in front of a jury and fellow students. A thrilling and enriching experience for sure!
One of the participants was Priscilla, an undergraduate dentistry student from Taiwan. Before coming to CEU, she studied neurosciences at the University of San Diego, California for a year. She’s a first-year student, but she’s not afraid of accepting the challenge of conducting a research!
She presented the results on Thursday 11th April during a presentation called “Surgical Pharmacological Anaesthesia and Cognitive Functions”. Her experiment involved lab rats and is still ongoing.
What struck us first was to learn that she was a dentistry student. She indeed decided to register her presentation under Pharmacy because she felt that the experiment was more related to pharmacology as it dealt with anaesthesia. We sat down with her to understand more.
Could you tell us more about your topic, how you came to it?
I really like neurosciences, it was my past major in UC San Diego. I wanted to know more about this. But the research I’ve just presented is more related to clinical stages instead of actual research on how the brain functions in different situations, like in sleep or activities.
So, you studied neurosciences, now you study dentistry, and your presentation has more to do with pharmacy… Would you say that merging different fields is a necessity in medicine?
I think all things somehow connect with one another. But you can always specialize in one area of knowledge. There always have to be each person specialized in one thing to make a whole global understanding possible.
I guess you had to do a lot of research… Did you enjoy researching and presenting?
I had taken classes about cognitive science in San Diego so I had basic knowledge. But my subject was too specific. So, yes, I had to do some research to know how procedures work and how the brain functions… I also spent quite some time with my supervisor who helped me a lot in preparing my presentation and knowing what’s going on in the experiment. Researching was very fun and I enjoyed the process of learning new things about the human body. It’s an ongoing research. Even now a lot of things still can be discovered and it’s fascinating.
The human body is an ongoing research. Even now a lot of things still can be discovered and it’s fascinating!
As a consequence, would you be interested in doing a PhD and conduct your very own research?
Maybe, but I don’t think I want to. Still, I think it’s a good experience to have in college. In high school, there was a class called “independent research”. It also had you make a full experiment and there was a paper at the end. But the whole presentation and subjects were not as formal or as specific as this. For this presentation, I did further analysis, the coordination of results… it required higher knowledge. I also got the opportunity to work with lab rats, which I couldn’t do in high school.
Priscilla was among the 60 international students who were brave enough to participate to the 16th International Student Congress in CEU UCH Valencia. What about you? Will you participate next year?