During my undergraduate years, I was a biochemistry major and history minor, but studied under Dr. Shermali Gunawardena in the Department of Biological Sciences. I was fortunate to have found research that matched my interest in neuroscience through the CURCA website, and was grateful to be trained by an advisor who allowed me to explore numerous projects involving Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s disease. This opportunity allowed me to put the knowledge I gained from basic science courses to practical use, and taught me how to work in a team and collaborate with fellow lab members.
These skills were essential for my later graduate studies at UB’s School of Public Health and Health Professions where I further pursued a Master’s of Science in Epidemiology. My advisor, Dr. Lina Mu, also afforded me the opportunity to study several diverse projects exploring the relationship between air pollution and childhood development of Autism Spectrum Disorder as well as the association between caffeine consumption and breast cancer incidence in postmenopausal women. The transition from basic science to population health research made me greatly appreciate the complex and nuanced nature of the research process, and the integral role it plays in the advancement of medicine.
With the support from Drs. Gunawardena and Mu, I am currently a student at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine interested in pursuing primary care. Not only did my research experience spark the interest of my medical school interviewers, it also enhanced my skills in critical thinking, teamwork, and provided a foundation for basic science and public health knowledge. Therefore, I strongly encourage those who are interested in pursuing a career in healthcare to explore research in a field of interest.
Last updated: October 07, 2016 2:29 pm EST