Melis Çakar, who started her education at Hisar School in the 9th grade of High School, graduated from Hisar High School in 2013.
Our graduate studied neuroscience as a major and French as a minor at Pomono College in California. Due to her successful student career, her projects have been funded many times by various scholarship institutions. Wanting to continue her career as a neuroscience researcher, Melis worked as a research assistant in this field at the University of Pennsylvania for about two years after her undergraduate degree. There she investigated the factors that affect social behavior and people’s behavior in terms of their relation to the brain. Melis, who started her PhD in Neuroscience at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2017, is still continuing her PhD studies on brain development and autism at the same university.
Melis states that she discovered her interest in biology as a result of the biology lessons she took at Hisar School. Even our graduate’s first encounter with the field of neuroscience was through the biology teachers in Hisar. Melis, who decided to turn to the field of neuroscience with the curiosity her teachers aroused in her, tells that her interdisciplinary aspect also developed in Hisar. While doing a term paper in high school, she explains that the fact that she was able to deal with a neurological phenomenon such as synesthesia from an art, daily life and historical perspective, or what she observed from the community service projects she participated at Hisar, constitute an eye-opening resource. In addition to the academic development she has acquired in Hisar, Melis is one of our graduates who has improved her social aspect with the concerts and shows she attended with the Hisar Music Department.
Melis, who aims to shed light on the source of sensory differences in autism in the brain with her doctoral studies at UCLA and helps develop new treatments for sensory symptoms. She plans an academic career in this direction and also cares about sharing her knowledge and experience on autism. At a recent talk titled “Understanding the Autism Spectrum”, Melis came together with our 8th grade students and shared her education and experience in neuroscience and autism. With this event, she not only set an example for our students but also makes us very proud.
Nowadays, Melis undertakes the coordination of a new project to be carried out with the Science Heroes Association and academicians from Turkey in order to attract the attention of High School students in Turkey to the field of science. Addition to this, Melis also works as a content illustrator in the “Knowing Neurons” platform with the aim of promoting neuroscience to a wider audience. Defining Hisar as innovative, open to different ideas and versatile, we follow the projects and works of our graduate Melis with great enthusiasm and sincerely wish success to this bright academician of the future.