Ruiting Jia: Undergraduate Researcher
Ruiting is in her 4th year working towards her B.S. in Psychobiology with a minor in Cognitive Science, set to graduate in Spring 2022. In fall quarter of her 1st year, she became a lab assistant in The White Lab at UCLA, where she helped the lab to research the neural basis of vocal learning through working with zebra finches and Bengalese finches.
With the help of the UCLA Honors College and her biomedical ethics professor, Professor Katie Gallagher, she began an independent research study on the comparison of different treatment methods for patients with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) in 2020. She published a paper called “The Mind in Healthcare: Comparing the Sociocognitive vs. Posttraumatic Models of Treatment” in UCLA’s Undergraduate Science Journal and presented her research at UCLA Undergraduate Week, Southwestern Social Science Association’s 2021 Annual Meeting, and at UCLA’s Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference in 2021.
Ruiting eventually became a research assistant in The Sharpe Lab in 2021 following her interest fostered from taking two of Dr. Sharpe’s courses. She has interests in investigating the hypothalamic-midbrain dopamine learning circuit, whether other neurotransmitters may also play a factor in this learning circuit, and ultimately, what can better improve learning and memory for those with schizophrenia.
Outside of the lab and university, Ruiting is very passionate about public health, and is very involved in a UCLA student organization called Asian Pacific Health Corps (APHC) and a national organization called Chinese American Citizen’s Alliance (CACA). She hopes to continue to help underserved populations in her future pursuits of being a professional in the medical field.