Alexandra J. Greenberg
Why did you choose research as a career?
I chose research because of the impact that it can make on society. With a medical degree, the individuals you help are the patients you come in direct contact with. As a scientist, you can affect thousands of individuals, many more than you could as a clinician, even though you never meet them.
That, to me, is incredibly powerful motivation for choosing research as a career.
What attracted you to Mayo Graduate School?
When I was pursuing my undergraduate degree, I had the opportunity to spend a summer at Mayo Graduate School as part of the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF). That initial exposure to the researchers, resources, campus and community was what brought me back.
The culture here at Mayo of putting the patient first and ensuring that everything we do betters human health is one that I have not found at any of the other places I have visited.
Why did you choose the clinical and translational science track?
I have always loved learning and have a broad range of interests and passions. Grinnell College, the small liberal arts institution I attended for my undergraduate degree, really allowed me to explore, and I found myself interested in public health, statistics, biology and medical anthropology.
To me, clinical and translational science seemed the next logical step, as it is a sort of "liberal arts of the biomedical sciences" in that students are able to pursue a broad range of interests and skills while still gaining depth in one area of human health. It's a very unique program that gives students great flexibility and a skill set that is hard to find in most programs.
What do you like about Rochester, Minn.?
Rochester is a very livable city, but certainly is a change from both Chicago and small-town Iowa! I love the fact that we have more than 80 miles of paved running and cycling trails.
What are your plans for the future?
My ultimate goal is to pursue a career focused on health disparities in cancer, either through hands-on research in hematologic malignancies or through a career in government and policy.