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Deanna Barwick

Neuroscience Programme

“I began my undergraduate studies in Health Sciences First Year (HSFY) not knowing what avenue I was interested in long-term. I took PSYC 112 Human Thought and Behaviour and was fascinated by the paper – then one of my lab partners mentioned they were studying Neuroscience. I remember thinking “you can study that??” then changed my major to Neuroscience for second year.

“I really liked studying Neuroscience at Otago – it taught me how to look at research critically, to think about information being presented, and to apply a lens of curiosity over it.

“The lecturers always highlighted how unknown the field of neuroscience truly is, and how what we learn now could change completely as new research emerges.

“The biggest highlight of my undergraduate degree was taking NEUR 301 Current Topics in Neuroscience with Ian McLennan; the skills I learnt during that paper set me up for a successful career in research and the lens to look at science critically.

“Since completing my PhD, I have slowly transitioned from working as an Assistant Research Fellow to support my write up period into University Commercialisation at Otago Innovation.

“My studies definitely prepared me for my career, but I also had a huge learning curve on the job as I learnt how to link scientific research with marketing and business. The skills I learnt at Otago, especially during my PhD, allow me to pick up new skills quickly and gave me the right mindset to take on challenges. That, and being surrounded by a supportive team have allowed me to hit the ground running and succeed in my new career.”

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