PHutures – 100 Alumni Voices »

Tara Ghazi

“There’s only so much information one can get by listening to the stories of others, which is really huge to understand what’s out there, but then you really have to just get out and try things.”

Krieger School of Arts & Sciences

Cognitive Neuroscience – Psychology, PhD 2022

Chief Operating Officer at MALCOVA

Tara‘s Podcast Episode

In this episode, we discuss Tara’s inspiring, non-traditional path to pursuing her undergraduate and graduate degrees in cognitive neuroscience, how she translated her doctoral training and her extensive professional experience to co-found a startup focusing on medical device development for breast cancer, and her take on the importance of stepping outside of your comfort zone and exposing yourself to new ideas and experiences to help broaden your outlook and discover your own path.

Learn More About Tara‘s Story

I took this photo on a day hike in northern California the year before beginning my graduate studies at Johns Hopkins. My fellow hikers, contemplating the walking labyrinth ahead, included graduate students and researchers from different socioeconomic backgrounds and countries of origin.

My professional life began early, motivated first by simple needs for a livelihood and later by a desire to obtain satisfaction and even happiness from my work energies. While following a primary career path for more than a decade, I ventured down many side paths of personal and professional exploration. During this time my skills and knowledge grew, but still I was seeking. My search led me to a diverse community of people bound by a love of nature and openness to thought and experience. There I found tangible examples that helped me discover my own path to becoming a scientist.

Motivation, determination, and grit are all character traits I possess—but they are not enough. I was a re-entry student and a transfer student. I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, and a sister. Along my journey I have been granted access to institutions, experiences, resources, and importantly, people that were willing to offer mentorship, guidance, and support. At each step these “open gates” have allowed me to keep progressing forward in my pursuits.

I took this photo while studying abroad during my undergraduate education. There I conducted independent research which led to my honors thesis and subsequent admission into a Ph.D. program.