Mr Dhruv Nandamudi (2019)
As an undergraduate researcher at the Yale’s Center for Emotional Intelligence and Clinical and Affective Neuroscience Lab, I grew particularly interested in exploring the impact of psychosocial stress on neurological subsystems. In my capacity as director of the Yale Wellness Project, I helped design and conduct a large-scale study aimed at better understanding the role of stress in student life, and mitigating its more deleterious neural effects through the implementation of targeted interventional efforts. At Cambridge’s MRC CBU, my PhD will focus on exploring the neuroscientific relationship between stress and memory control, or, more broadly, motivated forgetting, through a combination of neuroimaging and molecular paradigms. From a clinical standpoint, memory control as such refers to a cognitive process that involves the active suppression of emotionally valent memories in response to environmental triggers, and thereby constitutes a barrier to negative affective states. This bears particular relevance to mental health science for the clinical treatment of mood and anxiety-related disorders. My goal is to better understand the mechanisms guiding the interaction between stress and motivated forgetting in an effort to inform potential treatment methodologies for psychological disorders by enhancing cognitive emotion regulation. I am profoundly honored to be a part of the Gates Cambridge community, and its network of scholars dedicated to bettering the human condition.