Eman Elhag Hamed is a Ph.D. student in neuroscience, who works in the Neurotechnology for Memory and Cognition Group with Professors Martha Gillette, Hyunjoon Kong, and Brad Sutton.
Hometown: Alexandria, Egypt; Birthplace: California
What kind of research are you working on?
I am exploring the mechanisms of fluid waste clearance in the brain — the glymphatic system — with respect to physiology, circadian disruption pathology, and drug modulation.
Why is this important and why do you find it interesting?
Elderly patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s patients, exhibit altered circadian physiology and disrupted sleep that might affect their glymphatics. Understanding the fluid transport in the brain and its modulation can help us target debilitating neurological diseases with no current cures. It can also help us modulate the drug delivery to the brain as well as the appropriate timing for drug administration.
How has your affiliation with the Beckman Institute helped you?
The Beckman Institute has provided me with a great collaborative environment for my studies. This enabled me to integrate neuroscience, biomolecular engineering and neuroimaging expertise to study the glymphatic system. Furthermore, the Beckman Institute awarded me the 2020 Beckman Institute Graduate Fellowship which will allow me to gain further insights and expand our current understanding of sleep and the glymphatic flow. The resources available at the Beckman Institute for my project are tremendous. I will study the fluid transport in the brain using the state of the art Bruker 9.4 Tesla preclinical animal MRI system recently housed at the institute. In addition, the staff, administration, and faculty are really friendly, helpful and make the work environment feel like home.
What do you like to do outside of the classroom or lab?
I like to hang out with my family and friends. I like to watch TV, read, and go to the movies. I enjoy walking, running, going to the gym, and visiting new places. Sometimes, I like cooking and baking and pretending I am the chef at an old country restaurant (Nossa & Khasaya little bakery)!
How did your work change during the stay-at-home order over COVID-19 concerns?
I focused mostly on writing papers, moved the desk to the window with the good sunlight and created my own at-home office! I am also excited to start doing experiments in the lab soon!
What has been the hardest adjustment for you during the pandemic?
At times, being alone in my apartment with little human contact and worrying about the health of my loved ones. But talking to family and friends helped so much.
What has been a hidden benefit of the stay-at-home order?
I was able to start writing manuscripts during that period. I read books in finance, life, and love! I got to spend quality time with my family and lifetime friends. I baked cinnamon rolls with my dad and sisters! And I am happy to announce ... they taste better than Cinnabon!