Sofia Orellana, BSc


MPhil Student – RAISE study

Research Interests
  • Mental Health
  • Neuroimaging (functional and structural)
  • Resilience enabling factors
  • Immunology
What current projects/studies you are involved with?
I am part of the RAISE study and my work will focus on how brain structure and function differentiate between individuals who are resilient vs. those who develop depression after childhood maltreatment. I will also look into the role of the immune system in driving these differences.
Tell us a bit about your background
I graduated from University College Utrecht (Netherlands) and majored in Cognitive Neuroscience and Cell Biology. I have always known I wanted to study the brain, but I when I started my undergrad, I had a hard time figuring out which aspect of neuroscience I was particularly passionate about. Fortunately, during one of my courses the lecturer did a few slides on neuroimaging in Psychiatry.  That was enough to hook me for good!

Over the years I have done research on various topics all with a basis on neuroimaging, as well as with a big focus on complex brain network measures. My goal thus far has been to gain acquittance with different tools that would be useful in answering questions within the field of Psychiatry.

What inspires you to come to placement?
The incredible fun of being able to sit with a scientific problem, working together with various people towards a common research goal, and the opportunity to make a humble contribution towards helping others.

(and also… coffee)

What has been the most challenging aspect of your work?
There are so many interesting things to research and so little time! So my personal challenge is to make sure I don’t yes to everything and give enough time and dedication to whatever I have committed myself to do.
What’s great about working and living in Cambridge?
All the possibilities to learn from other people! I love that the University really creates an environment where you have constant access to interesting ideas and people from all fields. I also love that I get to continue with cycling as my mode of transport over here!