About Sumaiya Shaikh

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less -Marie Curie

Dr Sumaiya Shaikh is an Australian Neuroscientist with a PhD in Medicine (Neurophysiology) from Sydney and currently holds a post-doctoral fellowship in Sweden. She has also conducted teaching for year 1-2 MBBS at Western Sydney University for over 5 years.

While, her previous research was in mechanisms of pain physiology, she is now studying the neuroscience of violent aggression in humans. It is conducted using techniques from biological psychiatry, neurophysiology, human behaviour, genetic & hormonal profiling, and brain imaging.

She has developed a laboratory paradigm to access and differentiate between the propensity to engage in retaliatory vs. appetitive aggression (a quantifiable violent behaviour), the latter closely mimicking violent extremism.

She has conducted several interviews with people who have engaged in ideological (e.g. violent extremism) and non-ideological acts of violence to study the ‘bio-psycho-social’ basis of appetitive violence- a rewarding-motivational violent behaviour, most commonly observed in terrorists.

She is a consultant neuroscientist for de-radicalisation and countering violent extremism measures.

She is also the Editor of Science on the fact-checking portal AltNews.in where she advocates for evidence-based medicine & critiques misinformation in public health policies.

She is the author of several scientific research articles, news and magazine commentary and a co-authored book titled “India Misinformed” by HarperCollins, India.

Her next book is titled: ‘Violent Brains of Ordinary Individuals’- The science behind ordinary people committing violent crimes.

Featured brain image by GREG DUNN & BRIAN EDWARDS from The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia