Hazal Arpaci

Hazal Arpaci, PhD student, psychological and brain sciences

Uncovers sleep's effect on mental health

“She is determined, highly motivated and fiercely intelligent and at the same time very kind and compassionate.” – Bengi Baran, assistant professor

Ankara, Turkey

Faculty mentor/advisor:
Bengi Baran, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

What is your degree program and anticipated graduation date?
PhD in behavioral and cognitive neuroscience, 2027

Please describe your research:
I am investigating the relationship between the sleep microstructure, emotional regulation abilities, and brain development in children and adolescents with anxiety disorders.

In simple terms, why does this research matter?
Our lab’s primary objective is to gain a comprehensive understanding of the variances and disruptions in the sleep microstructure among individuals with psychiatric disorders. Our ultimate goal is to discover potential sleep-related biomarkers for these disorders, with the aim of contributing to future advancements in this field. My research is one small step in this ambitious endeavor.

How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research?
I started right away.

How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa?
Research is at the core of my PhD education as a future cognitive neuroscientist. The University of Iowa offers exciting opportunities that are essential to my growth, including access to highly competent professors, state-of-the-art technological devices, collaborative projects, research rotations, funding, and abundant resources. Together, these elements play a pivotal role in shaping my journey and ultimate success in this field.

What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation?
I am planning to do a post-doc and then search for a position as a faculty member at a research university.

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