Spotlight Story

Heather Shapiro
Co-founder, Neurecall

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Heather Shapiro graduated from UC Davis in 2013 with a Ph.D. in neuroscience. Her research focused on using brain imaging and behavioral cognitive experiments to examine neural correlates of learning impairments in children with developmental disabilities. Heather is an alumna of the Business Development Fellows program 2010/11.

Heather is now the co-founder of Neurecall, an educational technology startup. We caught up with her in winter 2014 to learn more about her work.

What are you working on now?

I am co-founder of Neurecall, an educational technology startup that is developing an online learning platform grounded in principles of cognitive science. I am also a postdoc at the UC Davis MIND Institute, where I continue to follow on the work from my graduate research examining brain mechanisms of learning impairments in children with developmental disorders.

What was the most important lesson (or lessons) you  learned as a Business Development Fellow?

That building a large and diverse network is key to increasing serendipity and success.

Did the Fellows program change how you viewed your research or future plans?

The program inspired me to think more broadly about the potential impact of my research and how I might apply scientific discoveries to the development of engaging, science-based products. Importantly, it also taught me that one mechanism through which I might do this is entrepreneurship—and it armed me with the tools and confidence to embark on that path.

What is your best advice for future Business Development Fellows?

To take advantage of every opportunity the program has to offer, and definitely work hard on the class projects. The amount of benefit that you will glean from the program is directly related to the effort that you put into it.

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