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Biobehavioral Sciences Students Get Funding

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Laurel Daniels Abbruzzese

Laurel Daniels Abbruzzese

Ely Rabin

Ely Rabin

Preeti Raghavan

Preeti Raghavan

Electra Petra

Electra Petra

Students in the Biobehavioral Sciences Department are also encouraged to write grant proposals, and many have been successful, according to Professor Andrew Gordon. "From the time they arrive here, they are given grant writing skills, particularly doctoral and post doctoral, so they can study full-time. Also, if they are interested in pursuing a research or educational position, those positions require grant seeking. They will be a step ahead."

Four students-both pre-doctoral and postdoctoral-who have been funded are Laurel Daniels Abbruzzese, Ely Rabin, Preeti Raghavan, and Electra Petra.

Laurel Daniels Abbruzzese received a grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH), sponsored by the National Institute on Aging, to look at balance control in the elderly. As a result of receiving the grant, she was able to quit her job as a physical therapist and pursue her Ph.D. in Kinesiology full-time for the last three years.

Ely Rabin, a postdoctoral fellow in the Movement Sciences Program, is working on two projects under a three-year NIH grant. The first looks at how people type when their fingers are anesthetized, and the second looks at how people spatially relate to their surroundings when their arms are vibrated and their eyes are closed. These projects are looking at the importance of tactile cues.

Preeti Raghavan, is a postdoctoral researcher who received her M.D. in India and completed her residency at Albert Einstein Medical School in the Bronx. She received a three-year fellowship with a stipend from the Rehabilitation Medicine Scientist Training Program (RMSTP) which received an NIH K-12 grant to distribute to deserving candidates. Raghavan submitted a proposal to the RMSTP with Gordon as her mentor. In her study, she is looking at recovery of hand motor control in adult stroke victims by measuring forces and movements of the hands and fingers as the research subjects perform movements and lift objects. She hopes her research will lead to better ways to provide therapy to these patients.

Assisting Raghavan in her research is Electra Petra, who also applied for and received financial assistance from the Gerontellis Foundation, an institute that assists students of Greek origin or heritage whose undergraduate studies have been completed in Greece.

Gordon reiterated that, like lottery winners, you can't win unless you are in it. "You won't get funds unless you apply," he said. "The payoff is potentially very large." Many times, he said, a lot of grants are competitive and applications are not accepted on the first try. If students take constructive criticism and are persistent, they usually are successful in their efforts.

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