Hello, I'm Chinmayi Balusu!

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Highlights

  • 3rd-year undergrad student @ Columbia University**

  • Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) @ Simply Neuroscience

  • Student researcher @ Columbia Medicine and Stanford Medicine

  • Youth science communicator

  • Martial artist (3rd degree black belt in taekwondo)

  • Women in STEM advocate

  • Public speaker (3x TEDx speaker)

Bio

Chinmayi Balusu (she/her) is from northern California. She is a third-year undergraduate student at Columbia University in New York City, where she is pursuing neuroscience and medical humanities.

In May of 2019, Chinmayi founded the international student-led not-for-profit organization Simply Neuroscience, which works to foster students' interdisciplinary interests in the brain through neuroscience and psychology education, outreach, and awareness. In just over a year, Simply Neuroscience has grown to a team of over 300 volunteers involved in 25 departmental initiatives, including but not limited to the Humans of Neuroscience series, "The Synapse" Podcast, Action Potential Advising Program, and Brain Resource Creation. The broader Simply Neuroscience community spans approximately 50,000 individuals from 119 countries and 50 U.S. states and territories. In August of 2020, Simply Neuroscience hosted its inaugural four-day virtual conference (the Simply Neurocon) with 1,244 registered attendees from all around the world.

She is a student researcher with a background in neurodegenerative diseases and biomedicine related work. For her work investigating the effects of the longevity compound rapamycin on brain tissue in age-related diseases in mice, she was named Grand Champion by her regional science fair, Student of the Year by the California Science and Engineering Fair (CSEF), and finalist by the 2019 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). Additionally, Chinmayi was the 2019 Sacramento Brain Bee Champion and a USA National Brain Bee finalist.

She has received many special awards for her historical documentaries and was a three-time finalist for National History Day California. Furthermore, Chinmayi was recognized for her community service efforts as a recipient of the Daily Point of Light Award, Presidential Volunteer Service Award, and Multiplying Good One in a Million Award.

On-campus at Columbia, Chinmayi is Vice President of Neuroscience and Research Events at Columbia Synapse, a New York City-based service organization guided by principles of neuroscience, community, and advocacy for the community of individuals with brain injury. She is also an Organizational Committee Member at Columbia Science Review, an undergraduate student organization dedicated to promoting scientific engagement and inquiry. Additionally, she is a Welcome Ambassador with Columbia University's Office of University Life and a CC-SEAS Integrity Advisory Board member.

Chinmayi is passionate about youth science communication and actively works to further neuroscience and interdisciplinary STEM outreach through public speaking, completing over 165 in-person and virtual speaking engagements to date. In the fall of 2020, at the age of 17 years, she gave her first three TEDx talks, titled "How Neuroscience Relates to Board Games," "Redefining the Pre-Medical Journey Through Reflection," and "Pick Your Brain: Neuroscience for All."

Furthermore, Chinmayi works to further women in STEM advocacy efforts as a leadership board member of the international non-profit organization 500 Women Scientists, which works to make science open, inclusive, and accessible.

Chinmayi is an avid martial arts student and third-degree black belt, having practiced taekwondo for the past six years. In her free time, she enjoys playing (and refereeing) soccer, gardening, writing poetry, learning Indian classical singing (Carnatic music), exploring nature trails, watching old Telugu films, and exploring new music.

Chinmayi is fluent in English, Telugu, and Spanish.

Awards and Honors

  • 3x TEDx speaker

  • International Science and Engineering Fair finalist

  • California Science and Engineering Fair Student of the Year

  • USA National Brain Bee finalist

  • Grand prize winner of Northern California Regional STEM Fair

  • 3x National History Day California finalist in individual documentary

  • Presidential Volunteer Service Award

  • Daily Point of Light Award

  • Certificate of Recognition from CA Senator Kamala Harris and CA State Assemblymember Kevin McCarty

  • 2x Medical History Award winner

  • Women's History Award winner

  • National AP scholar

  • and more! Please see LinkedIn profile for full list.

Gallery

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