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Undergraduate Institution: Westminster College, New Wilmington, Pennsylvania
When I began to think about my future as a scientist and the possibilities before me, the only thing I was certain about was that I wanted to make a difference, wherever I was. Even though science requires a calculating mind, unending perseverance, and a lot of caffeine, the real drive behind research is the idea that your work has an effect on the world. What better place to influence science than a children’s hospital? What better institution than one that takes a bench to beside approach to medical research? I also wanted an atmosphere that was conducive to collaboration. I had no idea that when I applied to the MDB program, that I would get just that and more.
Coming from a small liberal arts college in western Pennsylvania, I don’t think I was expecting all that awaited me in Cincinnati. Of course you can read about our program, visit the facilities, and hear about how great it is from other people, but until you’re here, there’s nothing that can really describe Cincinnati Children’s. I wake up every day excited to come to work, to make a difference, and to collaborate with some of the most brilliant minds in research today. I leave every day completely exhausted, but also with a sense of accomplishment. I know that I’m in the right place to make my professional goals become a reality while being a part of an institution that is committed to understanding and fighting childhood diseases.
Albert Einstein once said, “If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called research.” At my undergrad institution, this was the quote that I read every day when I came into lab. Some days it was a reminder of all the exciting and wonderful advances that have yet to be discovered. Other times, when I glared at a blank PCR gel or picked through puzzling results, it was the quote that mocked me. Today, this is still the quote that pops into my head when my cells don’t grow or that unexpected band pops up in my western. If I already knew the answers to my questions, life would be a lot easier. But that’s the thing about research, we live for what we don’t know. Not knowing makes us want to know so much more.
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