College:College of Medicine
Degree Program:Biomedical Sciences PhD
Research Focus:Aging and age-related diseases
Sarah Noureddine never thought her academic journey would lead her to pursue a career in research. However, she was exposed to an entirely new branch of medicine by volunteering in a research lab while working on her bachelor's degree in Biology at UCF. “I became fascinated with the idea of contributing to the constantly evolving science behind medicine and ultimately found my passion in age-related pathologies,” she says.
Now, Noureddine is working on her PhD in Biomedical Sciences, having already completed her master’s degree through the program. She is currently conducting research centered on aging and age-related diseases. “Aging is such a diverse field because it looks into many diseases impacted by age and explores preventative measures that can be accessible to all,” she says. Her goal is to help expand and contribute to preventative care so people may age healthier and improve the quality of life for the elderly.
The decision to remain at UCF for her graduate studies was easy for Noureddine. “UCF feels like home to me because the institution embraces diversity and promotes individuality while also creating a unique community,” she says. The accomplishments of the College of Medicine were impressive, and she was excited to become a part of the innovative community.
Noureddine appreciates the collaborative environment at UCF and is grateful for the kindness and availability of the faculty. Drs. Laurence von Kalm and Otto Phanstiel gave her the opportunity to volunteer in their labs as an undergraduate student under their guidance, which allowed her to succeed in research and motivated her to pursue a PhD. “My current faculty advisor and mentor, Dr. Michal Masternak, also deserves recognition for his direction and counsel thus far. I have had great pleasure in working in his lab and look forward to completing my PhD under his guidance,” she says.
Throughout her academic career at UCF, Noureddine has received numerous awards and distinctions, including the Graduate Dean’s Fellowship in 2019, the Richard Tucker Gerontology Applied Research Grant by LIFE in 2021, and the Doctoral Research Support Award, Wodzinski Scholarship Award, and Maya Singla Memorial Award. She also was recognized with the Judge’s Choice Award at the UCF Student Scholar Symposium this year and was invited to speak at the American Aging Association (AGE) 50th Annual Meeting.
“UCF has allowed me to broaden my professional network through the countless symposiums, scholarship opportunities, and clubs offered,” Noureddine says. Through these opportunities, she says UCF is aiding her in developing the academic and professional skills necessary for her dream career.
Noureddine plans to seek a post-doctoral position before pursuing a career in research and development after graduating this fall. She hopes to continue making impactful discoveries and to make her family proud.
- Graduate Dean’s Fellowship, 2019
- Richard Tucker Gerontology Applied Research Grant by LIFE at UCF, 2021
- Doctoral Research Support Award
- Wodzinski Scholarship Award
- Maya Singla Memorial Award
- Judge’s Choice Award at the UCF Student Scholar Symposium, 2022
- Invited to speak at the American Aging Association (AGE) 50th Annual Meeting, 2022
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