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Undergraduate Institution: Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
As an undergraduate student I had the opportunity to take several classes that taught basic Biological principles by discussing the experiments that led to those discoveries. I soon found myself thinking of my own follow-up experiments and realized that I wanted a career where I could ask questions no one had asked before and find answers to new problems. I was majoring in Physiology and Developmental Biology, and soon began my undergraduate research in a lab that studied embryonic development. I was excited by the opportunity to learn new techniques and perform experiments. Even more interesting was the chance to read the literature and devise my own ideas and hypotheses. I knew that research needed to be a part of my future.
I didn’t know much about Cincinnati when I applied for the graduate program here. I knew they had a children’s hospital with an excellent reputation, and that there were some investigators whose research looked interesting. As I’ve been here, however, I have realized that Cincinnati Children’s has even more to offer. I have the opportunity to do exciting research on diseases that affect real peoples’ lives. I am currently studying a gene that was found to be associated with congenital heart defects in humans. A great deal of the research that goes on at Cincinnati Children’s is translational; people here are studying basic science with patients in mind.
I have also continually been impressed with the amazing atmosphere of collegiality here. Faculty, postdocs, technicians, and fellow students are always willing to offer help whenever it is needed. The MDB program at Cincinnati Children’s functions more as a family than a group of competitors; there is a huge cohort of people that want to see each other succeed. It’s a great place to learn, and I can’t think of a place I would rather be.
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