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Sara Matovic

Sara Matovic

Program: MSc in Neuroscience
Supervisor: Dr. Wataru Inoue

Previous Degrees: HBSc (Western Scholar) Honors Specialization in Neuroscience
Anticipated Graduation date:
Fall 2017

  • My Journey

  • Future Aspirations

  • Awards

I was born in a little town called Majdanpek in Serbia. In 1995 my family and I moved to Canada. Since I was a little girl, I have always been very competitive. Originally this started in the classroom, trying to outwork all of my classmates, and then I found competitive sport. It started with basketball, and soon incorporated volleyball, cross-country, track and field and rowing. My passion for rowing quickly grew and overcame my love for all the other sports. I came to Western in 2010 and joined the Western Rowing team. I immediately became very involved with the team and my competitive fire was nurtured. I became captain of my team in 2011, 2012 and 2013, winning MVP in 2011 and 2013. Luckily I was part of an incredibly hardworking group and our team became Ontario University and Canadian University Champions in several events in multiple years. In 2013 I accomplished a personal goal and became the Canadian Henley Champion in the lightweight women’s single.  I was also involved in our team executive as VP Alumni and VP Gala, helping organize various events for our incredible Rowing Alumni group. Currently, I still hold a position with the executive serving as an Alumni representative for VP Gala and I am also the president of the Mustang Athlete Student Council, which is a group that brings together different sport teams and tries to enhance the experience of all student-athletes.

I was in my second year when I heard that Western was adding the option of doing an Honors Specialization in Neuroscience and I was beyond excited. I made the switch from general medical science to neuroscience without question. I loved everything about the idea of neuroscience. I loved that it was an interdisciplinary field that delved into topics between cellular biology and psychology and I thought that the brain was by far the most interesting topic in medicine. I joined the Inoue Lab to do my Honors project in fourth year. Our lab investigates the effect of stress on the brain. I always found it interesting how stress can manifest so differently depending on the individual: some individuals thrive off of stress and some crash and burn. Additionally, stress seems to be a common underlying factor in many psychiatric disorders. How does stress change the brain, why does stress presents differently in different people and under different conditions, and how can we prevent stress from becoming detrimental, are all questions that I am very curious about. I am currently investigating how chronic stress induces synaptic plasticity in neurons using patch-clamp electrophysiology.  

Career Goals

After completing my Masters, I would like to like to become involved in clinical work, either as a clinical researcher or a clinician – maybe both. 


Queen Elizabeth Aiming for the Top Scholarship 2010-2014
Awarded for academic excellence in high school

UWO Continuing Admission Scholarship 2010-2015
Awarded for continued academic excellence

Dorothy Thompson Award 2012/2013
Awarded to those demonstrating academic achievement and leadership qualities on an intercollegiate athletic team

Quest for Gold (Rowing) 2012-2014
Awarded to athletes who have met a certain sport specific standard to allow them to continue their pursuit of excellence in sport while fulfilling educational goals

Gordon Risk (OSOTF) Award 2014
Awarded for academic achievement and athletic leadership

Dr. E.F. Lepine Memorial Award 2014
Awarded to a student in Medicine demonstrating academic achievement in a varsity sport

The Purple Blanket (Western) 2015
"To the student athletes who, in the opinion of the Selection Committee, achieved superior distinction at the Provincial/National level of competition as representatives of Western"

Ontario Graduate Scholarship 2015