Parisa Rafiei, an Iranian neuroscience major, researched brain cells as part of her plan to attend medical school.
Parisa Rafiei, an international student from Iran, recently graduated spring of 2023 with plans to attend medical school. Since her junior year, she had been involved in researching brain cells at laboratories run by Dr. Timothy Simeone and Dr. Kristina Simeone, a Creighton husband-and-wife team whose research into brain function and epilepsy have earned them a national reputation.
We put some questions to Parisa:
Where are you from?
I’m an international student from Iran.
What is your major and graduation year?
I recently graduated in spring of 2023. My major was in neuroscience, with a double minor in biology and philosophy.
What kind of research did you partake in?
I worked at the labs of Dr. Timothy Simeone and Dr. Kristina Simeone ever since I was a junior. Most recently I worked on a research project about tanycytes (a type of brain cell) with fellow student Huda Mian and with a PhD student. Kristina Simeone oversaw the project.
Why is research important to you?
I like the challenge of trying to answer scientific questions, making hypotheses and testing them. When I collect data that either support or reject the hypothesis, I feel like I'm getting close to finding out information that I didn't know before.
What are your plans now that you have graduated?
I was on the pre-medicine track and will be applying to go to medical school. However, I want to attend graduate school first so that I have more time to do research.
How will your research experience help you reach your goals?
I plan to stay here at Creighton to get my master's degree. I have applied to two different programs. My current research experience will definitely help me reach that goal.
Would you recommend research to incoming students?
I recommend research. It's a rewarding experience that teaches patience in data collection. Any student who likes the lab environment would enjoy doing research.