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Tibin John


Kalamazoo, MI
Biology, Math, and Chemistry
Biological Physics
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In 10 words or less, why should a student want to be involved in this department?
It’s truly interdisciplinary; life processes information at many interconnected levels.

What initially drew you to this department?  What keeps you coming back?
The study of biological systems through computational modeling initially drew me to computational neuroscience, and learning the resourceful ways that cells and networks have evolved to process and communicate information inspired me to continue into neurobiology. The potential for multi-level, mechanistic understanding of the nervous system to facilitate related disease treatment development in particular keeps me coming back.

What’s your biggest piece of advice to first years and sophomores in this department?
Enjoy learning; take to heart everything you learn now since you will find it eminently helpful later.

How does your department connect to your other interests and activities?
Neuroscience offers explanations for the information processing aspects of my other interests at K including music and golf, but I generally keep them separate at this point.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
To be open to learn new ideas, especially from our dedicated and passionate professors, since each such idea is very valuable in itself.

What has been your favorite class at K?  Why?
I’ve loved learning in all my classes; one that was an important start for me was Evolution and Genetics since it reintroduced me to biology with the fundamental perspective of an unchanging law of organization and a mechanism that can explain and predict properties of life. This inspired me to pursue research in biology, while applying instances of mathematics as a generalized way to understand hypothetical systems and considering the realistic medium of life at a fundamental scale of matter through chemistry. These are consistent with searching for definitive laws and mechanisms describing life.

What is your SIP?
Investigating multi-level mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease onset and progression using electrical signal changes at cellular and network levels. Those that could cause observed epileptic discharges with potential feedback to cognitive decline are being investigated in a biophysical network model.

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
MD-PhD in Systems Biology

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