May 16, 2005

Sandra Wiebe wins fellowship

by K.C. Jaehnig

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Sandra A. Wiebe, a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Southern Illinois University, has won a fellowship to attend the John Merck Fund Summer Institute on the Biology of Developmental Disabilities, to be held July 17-22 at Princeton University.

"They solicit applications from all over the United States and select only 20 or so students to participate," said Kimberly A. Espy, an SIUC neuropsychologist who heads the research lab in which Wiebe works.

"They pay all expenses and the participants get to interact with cream-of-the-crop scientists in the area. I wish that I could go myself!"

This year's institute focuses on the organization and development of brain systems that influence behavioral choices in general and on the factors, such as genetics, mood and social context, that make such choices vary so widely from one person to the next.

"It is precisely these dimensions that we are trying to understand in my lab regarding how children ultimately develop self-control," Espy said.

The institute will include lectures by psychologists, neuroscientists and molecular biologists, and fellows will participate in workshops on imaging, computational modeling and human genetics.

Wiebe earned her bachelor's in 1998 at the University of Winnipeg in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and her doctorate in 2003 at the University of Minnesota. She is the daughter of Altona, Manitoba, residents Bill and Anne Wiebe.

Leading in research, scholarly and creative activities is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.