Julia Nakunichna will take her final exams next year, but the doors of all medical schools in Poland are already open for her. It is first in Poland and fourth in the world in the International Brain Bee (IBB) organization. In a word – genius!
The International Brain Bee (IBB) is a competition in neuroscience for high school students from all over the world. Brain Bee’s goal is to motivate students to learn more about the brain and inspire them to pursue a career in neuroscience. Julia from Słupsk doesn’t need to be excited. She loves neurobiology and Brain has been her indissoluble charm for many years. In his free time, he follows the news on English-language websites on popular scientific articles on the latest discoveries in the field of neurology and neurosurgery.
Julia Nakunichna, a student of the 1st secondary school in Zupsk, will start her senior year in September. In the field that fascinates her, she has no equal in the country. This year, she was awarded a prize in the Brain Bee 2023 International Neurobiological Knowledge Competition, where, in front of an international panel of eminent professors, she had to diagnose a patient on the basis of a medical card filled with specialized vocabulary. The competition consisted of a written test and an oral exam in which participants were asked questions related to a variety of neuroscience topics, including brain anatomy, neural pathways, neurological disorders, and neuroscience research. However, this was not a problem for the Slupsk guy. The win gave her the opportunity to participate in the International Brain Bee World Championships in Washington, D.C., which was held online this year. The best students from 50 countries participated in it.
– It’s a Neuroscience Olympiad, so it covered all neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and neuropathology, because there were also identifiable tissue sections and brain sections. There was also the basics of neuroscience, where we had eight clinical cases to diagnose. Everything consists of three parts. On the written part – I scored 97.7% on the test. Out of eight clinical cases, seven were diagnosed correctly. In addition, the fourteen best people in the world participated in a session that consisted of receiving questions from world-famous professors and having 30 seconds to answer. After giving a second wrong answer, we were eliminated to determine the winner. There were 20 questions, I got to 17, and I got to 4th in the world, – says Julia. – The competition is very tough, it was a world leader and it was great to meet these guys.
Complex questions included: diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, or a neurotransmitter. It was even more difficult because they all spoke English.
Julia is 18 years old, but she has been absorbing knowledge in the field of neuroanatomy and neurophysiology for many years, but her interest in cardiology began.
– Already in elementary school I was interested in medicine, but at first I was interested in cardiology. But then neuroanatomy seemed more interesting to me. I am fascinated by human behavior because they are all the result of the functioning of our brain, which is still unexplored and dogmas that seemed certain are still being undermined – says Julia.
It would seem that Julia’s future is closed.
– I associate it with medicine, in terms of specialization, it’s definitely something related to neurobiology or neurosurgery, and I’m also thinking about studying abroad, – says Gulka. The plans are very real, because the medicine index is already there. Prizes in competitions were Index at the Medical University of Gdańsk, the Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin and Neuroscience at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków.
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