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Ryan D'Mello


Hometown: Kalamazoo, MI           
Major: Biology
Minor: Business
Study Abroad: Cáceres, Spain
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Cake Batter
Best Adjective to Describe You: Driven

In 10 words or less, why should a student want to be involved in this department?
Biology provides a deeper understanding of the complexity that’s life.

What initially drew you to this department?  What keeps you coming back?
I have been interested in biology for as long as I can remember. I had very inspiring biology professors in high school that evoked my passion for biology, but it wasn’t until my first year at Kalamazoo College that I found my home in this field (and in this department).

What’s your biggest piece of advice to first years and sophomores in this department?
My greatest recommendation is for you to get to know your faculty and advisors! Go to their office hours often: with questions about class material, career explorations, or really anything! Take advantage of the small class sizes of K and get to know the faculty and staff!

How does your department connect to your other interests and activities?
My original attraction to biology was based on my interests in the treatment of diseases of the human body.  The biology department has provided ample opportunities to connect with alumni and learn from outstanding researchers (Diebold Symposium) to explore careers in biological research, epidemiology, and medicine. In addition, one of my favorite hobbies for de-stressing is organic gardening, which relates directly with my overarching interest in biology.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
The strong sense of community is a valuable strength of Kalamazoo College that I’ve learned to truly appreciate and not take for granted. This community atmosphere incorporates the students, faculty and staff. Study abroad was the first time that I honestly began to appreciate the community of Kalamazoo College, and I hope to maintain this sense of community and these valuable connections throughout my life. 

What has been your favorite class at K?  Why?
I have so many favorite classes at K, but if I had to pick, it would be a tie between Form and Function (with Dr. Walther and Dr. Sotherland) and Span205: Culture of Health and Disease in the Hispanic Community (with Prof. Romero-Eshuis.) Form and  Function opened my eyes to the complexity of the biodiversity of our planet, and Spanish 205 allowed me to connect my Spanish language skills from study abroad to my professional goals of pursuing a career in healthcare.

What is your SIP?
My SIP is in the Trauma department at the University of California at San Diego, where I’m studying traumatic brain injury (TBI). Specifically, I’m assessing whether the hormone ghrelin alters the infiltration of inflammatory cells and the activation of resident microglia after TBI.

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
This spring, I will be applying to medical school and I hope to attend medical school fall of 2015. In the year following my graduation, I hope to be able to utilize my Spanish skills and return to Spain to teach English, or return to my SIP location in California to continue my research. 

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