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Meet Sana Saboowala, Polymathic Scholars Alum

Meet Sana Saboowala, Polymathic Scholars Alum

Sana Saboowala graduated in 2018 as a Dean's Honored Graduate in Biology. She received an Honors B.S.A. in Biology, an Honors B.A. in Anthropology, and a Bioarchaeology in Museums Certificate through the Polymathic Scholars Honors program. Sana was recognized for her excellence in research and her thesis, "Ankh-Hap: A Case Study on the Display of Egyptian Mummies in America."

Today, Sana is enrolled in the Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology Doctoral Program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, funded by an Illinois Distinguished Fellowship and an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

Sana conducted research with Dr. Deborah Bolnick for three years at UT, and her interest was in understanding how social circumstances are biologically embodied through epigenetic mechanisms and how epigenetic marks are inherited. In one project, Sana assessed how patterns of epigenetic changes vary throughout an individual's body. Later, Sana contributed to a paleoepigenetic study of ancient individuals from a central Peruvian Andes site. She presented her work on both at major scientific conferences. Sana also pursued two independent honors research projects. Her anthropology thesis examined the biological consequences of being a social outsider in ancient Peru. Her Polymathic Scholars thesis explored how mummies and other human remains are displayed in scientific institutions and their related exotification, medicalization and exhibition in museums.

Sana worked as a Government Documents Assistant in the Perry-Castañeda Library and a summer intern in the Harry Ransom Center. She held a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship and a UT Libraries Nilsson Scholarship. She was also one of 15 students nationwide selected by the National Science Foundation as an Increasing Diversity in Evolutionary Anthropological Sciences Student Scholar.

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Friday, 13 December 2019

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