Jada Winchester – Class of ’11

UA Class of 2011
College: B.S. – Psychology & Biology, University of Missouri-Columbia (2011-2016)
Advanced Degree: Masters candidate of Medical Sciences of Molecular Medicine
Current Position: Assistant Scientist I, Investigation Team at Eurofins BioPharma Product Testing

A powerful moment in my life occurred in June of 2013. I was a cohort and researcher at my year-long internship for the Information Sciences iSchool Institute at the University of Pittsburgh. Nineteen others students and I were selected for a research program that emphasized innovation, inspiration, and immersion into the fields of supercomputing, bioinformatics, neuroinformatics, and health informatics.

Through the internship, I was inspired by researchers from the university who discussed their project of taking a synapse from a rat brain and using it to digitally recreate the brain, utilizing this information to gain a deeper insight into the human brain.

I began to ask a multitude of questions, fascinated about the usefulness of technology in relation to the field of neuroscience. It was in that moment that I decided to change my original path of clinical neuropsychology to one of exploration in bioinformatics, psychiatry, and neurosurgery. I realized I wanted to further current research of the brain by digging deeper into neuroscience, using big data to foster a better understanding of the complexity of the brain.

Now as a fourth-year undergraduate student at the University of Missouri, I am pushing myself to learn as much as I can about neuroscience, supercomputing, bioinformatics, medicine, and a diversity of world cultures. I plan to use my professional networks and diverse education to prepare to apply for medical school, and to prepare for my future field of study in science. Currently, I am enjoying my courses and investing in my love of learning new languages (as of now I am studying Chinese). I expect to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in both Biology and Psychology, while earning a minor in Sociology and a Multicultural Certificate.

Update: Since submitting this Spotlight in 2015, Jada has completed her Bachelors and is a Masters candidate.