Laila Khorasani, member of the Neuroscience major class of 2021, has received a Fulbright Grant to conduct neuroscience research for the 2021-2022 academic year. For her Fulbright grant, Laila applied through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, specifically for an “Open-Research” award in Germany. The research grants are open to both seniors/recent graduates for a gap year experience and PhD students to do a portion of their dissertation research abroad. Laila is using her grant to do research at the Technical University of Munich’s Institute for Neuroscience, where she’ll be studying sensorimotor integration using a decision-making apparatus with larval zebrafish, and employing neuroimaging techniques in order to identify the specific circuitry that allows information from multiple sensory modalities to be accumulated and used to generate a motor output.
During her time as a student at UCLA, Laila was significantly involved in the Neuroscience community, including serving as Co-President of InterAxon and Nu Rho Psi’s UCLA Chapter and as an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Neil Harris’s lab in the neurosurgery department (which contributed to her departmental capstone and departmental honors project). Her lab involvement was a big motivator for when it came to applying for Fulbright and similar grants since the experience there is what got her interested in the topic of her Fulbright research. Laila was also a member of the i2URP and USIE programs at UCLA and taught an undergraduate seminar in her last quarter at UCLA, NEUROSC 88S: Exploration of Neuroscience Fiction and Fact.
Laila hopes her experience with the Fulbright will encourage other neuroscience and STEM majors to apply for Fulbright grants in the future!