Why did you choose graduate school at IUPUI?
My personal goal is to become a physician-scientist – someone who works to better understand a given disease, and, ideally, translate this understanding into novel treatments for said disease. Between word of mouth, my own research, and meetings with faculty members on campus I learned about a number of fantastic mentors at IUPUI performing great basic science research with a disease-related focus. I forged a great relationship with one of these mentors, worked in his laboratory, and then completed my graduate studies in his lab. It was a great decision and could not have worked out better for me.
What has been your favorite academic accomplishment since you’ve been here?
Without a doubt, it would have to be publishing my first paper on my thesis studies. This paper represented the culmination of years of work and training. I was proud to contribute to the small scientific community studying the disease that I also worked on.
What do you enjoy most about life in Indianapolis?
Indy is a big city that doesn’t come with the big city feel. We have professional basketball, football, and frequently host Big Ten/NCAA collegiate events. There’s a lot in the way of arts and culture. Our downtown area is growing rapidly – it’s quite amazing to see all the new developments coming each month. We get all this without some the things that may detract from other major cities, including a high cost of living and difficulty travelling throughout the city.
Please provide some details about your work/research as a graduate student and/or any activities you are involved in.
I am currently at the end of my third year of medical school and my 7th year overall in the MD/PhD program. My graduate studies focused on a rare genetic disease, Neurofibromatosis Type 2, that predisposes individuals to the development of tumors of the nervous system. My thesis work involved the phenotypic and molecular characterization of a new mouse model of Neurofibromatosis Type 2.