When Mayim Bialik’s character talks about neurobiology on The Big Bang Theory, she isn’t just reading lines. The actress who plays Sheldon’s geeky girlfriend completed her graduate studies in neuroscience at the University of California Los Angeles.
Starring in the sitcom Blossom, Bialik put her acting career on hold to pursue her studies. “For me, it was smart,” she told USA Today. “Personally, I come from an immigrant family where you go to college no matter what so this was the no matter what. Oh, I have my own TV show? I’m gonna go to college now.”
Her scientific studies gave her a edge when it came to playing Amy on The Big Bang Theory. “It wasn’t until my second episode that they revealed that she was a neurobiologist. In those science circles, there is a distinction between neurobiology and plain old neuroscience but for the purposes of everyone’s knowledge, it’s pretty darn close to what my specialty was.”
Bialik also puts her knowledge to use by teaching. “I teach chemistry and biology in our home school community for middle schoolers,” she said. “I like sharing my knowledge of science. I especially like inspiring young women to see themselves as scientists. I never thought of science for girls. I think being a neuroscientist and getting to influence young girls especially is a nice gift.”