Student intern Meghana Vagwala joins the BeGOOD team this summer

Meghana bio image

Meghana Vagwala

This summer Meghana is interning with the BeGOOD team in the Department of Psychiatry. She is rising third-year student and Angier B. Duke Scholar at Duke University in North Carolina. Last year, she studied a course titled Science, Ethics, and Society at New College and is back in Oxford to work on the SNAPBY (Survey of Neuroenhancement Attitudes and Practices Among British Youth) project. She is using thematically analyzed focus group data to write a qualitative research paper on how student smart drug use operates at individual, societal, and national levels, highlighting differences between the UK and America. She is also assisting with planning for Dr. Singh’s O3 (Our Brains, Our Selves, Our World) Conference for Global Neuroethics, and is a researcher on the conference’s Brain Health and Aging panel.

Back home in the US, Meghana is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Body, Brain, and Mind, under Duke’s Program II umbrella for individually designed interdisciplinary degrees. Her program uses neuroscience, philosophy, and global health to examine how our somatic experiences are interwoven with our mental selves. She is a research assistant in the Laboratory for Psychiatric Neuroengineering, studying reward response and anticipation as modulated by the mesocorticolimbic dopamine (DA) system in a mouse model for schizophrenia. Societal implications of mind-body interactions motivate her involvement in the North Carolina community, where she volunteers with populations affected by domestic violence and intellectual disabilities. In her free time, Meghana enjoys trying new restaurants, exploring running trails, and relaxing with friends.