From her time at the National Cancer Institute and INTEL International Science Fair , Shahleen Z. Ahmed found her passion for science and research. In 2010, she continued her passion for research at the University of Virginia (UVa), where she worked as an undergraduate researcher in the Department of Microbiology. After a year, Shahleen realized her interests lay in bridging the gap between people and medicine, so she became a Clinical Research Intern for the UVa Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant Team, and then accepted a position as a Clinical Research Coordinator for the Department of Pediatric Respiratory Medicine.
Over time, Shahleen realized that she wanted a well-rounded approach to her scientific education; not only did she want to understand biochemistry, but she also aspired to obtain cultural competency through investigating culture, language, and society.
As such in 2014, she graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelors of Arts in Japanese Culture and East Asian Studies that specifically emphasized mindfulness and meditation.
From her time at the UVa focusing on meditation and mindfulness, Shahleen realized her affinity for neuroplasticity and brain development, which led her to the Developing Brain Research Laboratory. As a Clinical Research Coordinator in the MRI lab, Shahleen aims to coordinate study patient schedules between various health care professionals, edit regulatory documents for each of the studies, and manage data.