Natalia Ibanez ’10 has received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) post-baccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award, which provides the opportunity to spend two years performing full-time research at the NIH.
It is designed for students who are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in a scientific field or an M.D. to work with today’s leading scientists in biomedical research. Fellows are also given career development workshops and provided with an adviser to guide them through the application process of their desired profession.
“Lafayette enabled me to develop a close relationship with many of my professors, which was very beneficial in the application process,” Ibanez says.
Ibanez, who graduated last May with a B.S. in neuroscience, is studying the changes that occur in the hippocampus after methamphetamine self administration in rats at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Her work focuses on the cognitive and memory deficits that methamphetamine can cause in humans.
While at Lafayette, Ibanez worked under the guidance of Lisa Gabel, assistant professor of psychology, to conduct research on epilepsy. She and Gabel presented their work at the national meeting for the International Society for Neuroscience and Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience in 2009.
“In order to receive this fellowship, the research that I conducted with Dr. Gabel was extremely important–especially the opportunity to present it at the international conference,” says Ibanez.
She also performed an independent study with Gabel on the chemical causes behind cocaine cue-induced relapse. Ibanez also took part in an externship shadowing neonatologist Carmela Pane ’78 at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, N.J.
Ibanez was captain of the Lafayette Dance Team, a member of the Neuroscience Club, and participated in community outreach, including tutoring at the Northampton County Prison and volunteering at a nursing home. She also spoke at elementary and middle schools in New York City to encourage students to attend college.
See a list of recent Lafayette recipients of national and international scholarships and fellowships for undergraduate and post-graduate study. For information on applying for scholarships and fellowships, contact Julia A. Goldberg, associate dean of the College, (610) 330-5521.