Afsoon Mombeini is a PhD student in Biomedical Engineering under the supervision of Dr. Manu Madhav. In the Neural Circuits for Computation, Cognition, and Control (NC4) lab, Afsoon uses cutting-edge engineering tools and techniques to study neural circuits. We caught up with Afsoon to learn more about her research and interests.
Why did you decide to pursue an engineering degree in a lab that also studies Neuroscience?
The human brain is incredibly fascinating and mysterious, and I find it the most interesting thing I’ve ever encountered. I can’t imagine my life without studying neuroscience to better understand our brain. It’s a subject that truly captivates me.
What is the main research focus of your thesis?
We know from previous research that the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex have reciprocal interactions through the CA1 region. My project is focused on these two brain regions and their interactions during information generalization and contextual encoding. I am intrigued by how the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex mutually influence each other.
What is your favourite thing about UBC?
UBC stands as one of Canada’s most distinguished and globally renowned universities with a vibrant and beautiful campus, I am absolutely thrilled to be here during my PhD. Moreover, the atmosphere is warm and welcoming with everyone being incredibly friendly and amiable.
What skills do you bring from your previous education and what skills are you gaining currently in the graduate program?
I have a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering. As an engineer, my expertise lies in programming with Matlab and Python, along with signal processing. However, during my Ph.D., I’ve been delving into fascinating fields like behavioural neuroscience and robotics, while also enhancing my programming skills even further.
What do you like to do outside of research?
Art and travel have been an endless source of inspiration and comfort for me. Cinema, theatre, painting, and music are my favourite forms of art.
What is your favourite quote?
My favourite English quote is from James Baldwin, “The place in which I’ll fit will not exist until I make it”.