Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Hometown: Grosse Pointe Woods, MI
Study Abroad: Quito, Ecuador (Environment and Ecology Program)
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Mint chocolate chip
Best Adjective to Describe You: Excitable
In 10 words or less, why should someone want to be a part of this department?
Interdisciplinary fun with fantastic faculty.
When did you know you wanted to study this area? What pathway led you to this department?
I’ve always been interested in Biology. However, it wasn’t until I came to K and experienced a variety of different biology and chemistry classes that the intimate relationship between biology and chemistry became apparent to me. Eventually, I couldn’t think about biology without considering chemistry and vice versa; the two disciplines made sense only in the context of one another, as opposed to independently.
What is the best way to get (and stay) connected to this department?
Visit your professors early and often! Even if you don’t necessarily have specific questions regarding classwork, it’s always beneficial to maintain relationships with faculty. Keeping them updated on your interests allows them the opportunity to help you reach your goals!
What would you miss the most if you were no longer a part of this department?
I’ve really enjoyed the close interaction that I’ve had with my professors as they’ve helped me to hone my skills both in the laboratory and as an analytically thinking scientist. I’d miss that kind of personalized instruction if I were no longer a part of the department. I’d also miss the sense of camaraderie that I’ve experienced as a result of going through the science curriculum at K with many of the same classmates and faculty.
What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
I plan to take a gap year, during which I hope to either travel to Spain with a Fulbright ETA grant, or continue working at my SIP site. I’ll be applying to Medical School during the spring of my senior year, and will hopefully be attending my first year fall of 2014.
What has been the biggest surprise you have encountered at K?
The biggest surprise has definitely been the extent to which the community at K functions as a cohesive unit. I’ve found that not only are students involved in interdisciplinary fields, but the professors are as well, forming a sense of a community that functions as a supportive whole rather than individual departments. For me, this not only contributes to the sense of community but it augments the learning process.
How does your department connect to your other interests and activities?
A generally physically active person, my initial interest in biology was sparked by my curiosity about the function of the human body. Having been a part of the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology department has significantly deepened my understanding of and appreciation for the body. As my career goals include becoming a physician, being a part of this department has significantly influenced those goals.
What has been your favorite class at K? Why?
Physics in the Biosciences was a particularly influential class for me. Different than a lot of other science courses I’ve had at K, it forces you to consider laboratory techniques on a deeper scale, improving troubleshooting skills and overall appreciation of the depth of thought required for the scientific process.
What is your SIP?
My SIP is at the Center for Translational Pathology at the University of Michigan. I’m using molecular biology techniques to investigate the role of several microRNA-regulated proteins in Prostate Cancer development.