BS Neuroscience, Psychology Minor, Spring 2022
Mentor: Gen Shinozaki (Psychiatry); Isaac Peterson (Psychological and Brain Sciences)
The first thing that you will notice about Zoe- Ella Anderson is her contagiously exuberant, positive personality. Her PI and mentor, Dr. Gen Shinozaki (Department of Psychiatry), calls it her “200% positive attitude to everything.” Excitement for their work is crucial for a good undergraduate researcher, but, as the Shinozaki lab can attest, there is a much deeper commitment to research within Zoe-Ella.
Research was not on Zoe-Ella’s radar before she got to the University of Iowa. A helpful friend steered her toward ICRU and the laboratory of Dr. Shinozaki. Zoe-Ella recalls that the opportunity to gain clinical experience and take leadership on research projects was the carrot that drew her in. She eagerly joined Dr. Shinozaki’s lab, where she began studying the effects of the diabetes drug Metformin on longevity and cognitive ability in diabetic and non-diabetic patients.
It did not take Zoe-Ella long to discover that she wanted research to remain in her future. “I learned that I have a passion for clinical work and really love talking to patients. This pushed me to find a career where I can interact with and help people on a daily basis. I also have learned that I really enjoy and value research! Finding this out helped me decide that I want research to be a part of my career as well, leading me to pursue a PhD after I graduate.” Zoe-Ella’s love for research has even spurred her to take on a second laboratory position with Dr. Isaac Peterson (Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences) this semester. She now plans to obtain her PhD in Psychology to continue on to a career in Pediatric Neuropsychology.
Dr. Shinozaki has particularly noticed Zoe-Ella’s positive impact on his team. “Her full smile cheers all of us up every day, including lab members, hospital staffs and study participants. Her tireless focused effort and leadership helped to get a huge project done very nicely to discover novel findings potentially leading to much better patient care in real clinical practice.” As her mentor, one of Dr. Shinozaki’s greatest joys is seeing mentees like Zoe-Ella achieve their goals. “I have had the privilege of working with many talented students in my lab, and my goal has been to assist them with their success in their choice of career paths.”
Zoe-Ella is determined to add a research publication to her CV by the time she graduates, but research and publications are far from the only activity that she currently has on her plate. In her “spare” time, Zoe-Ella is the Retention and Recruitment Director for the Campus Activities Board and the social chair of the Alpha Chi Sigma Chemistry Fraternity. Thank you for being a part of the UI Research community, Zoe-Ella!