Senior Saam Mojtahed has always enjoyed the sciences and questioning his surroundings. By the time he headed to college, this interest matured into a fascination with the brain.
Not surprisingly, Saam ended up as a neuroscience major at Notre Dame and has been studying both biology and psychology. “My greatest academic interest is how the biological mechanisms underlying the brain’s processes contribute to cognitive functioning and memory,” Saam said.
In addition to his classes, Saam does undergraduate research with two research labs. Working with the Tessier Lab at Indiana University School of Medicine in South Bend, Saam performs neuroscience research on Fragile X syndrome, a genetic condition that causes an array of disabilities. For his research, he investigates the role of iron in neuron development for fruit flies. Saam also explores the effect of sleep, or lack thereof, on memory and cognitive performance within the Memory Lab in the Notre Dame Department of Psychology.
Saam is cognizant of his role within the global community. As co-president of Global Brigades, he traveled to rural communities in Nicaragua to organize the development of medical clinics. He also participated in the Appalachia Seminar service trip, volunteering in rural West Virginia. Saam furthered his leadership experience as co-president of the Multicultural Pre-Medical Society, which strives to provide pre-medical opportunities, resources, and mentorship to Notre Dame’s diverse student population. These experiences gave Saam a new perspective on health care both within the United States and globally. “I have witnessed firsthand the detriments of a lack of access to healthcare, and I have consequently become passionate about global and community health.”
Outside of his studies, Saam enjoys playing music and participating in interhall sports. After graduation, he is planning on attending medical school to pursue his dream of becoming a physician. Saam said, “I am excited to see what the future has in store for me and how I may be able to impact the field of medicine through service and research.”