Amber C. Kirk
Why did you choose research as a career?
During a teaching experience in my undergrad, I realized how truly valuable my research experience was to both understanding the field and being able to help others understand key concepts. I knew that research was the beginning necessary step for any future success in science.
What attracted you to Mayo Graduate School?
Mayo Graduate School attracted me because of the proximity to patients. This is truly a place where translational medicine is happening every day and a place where I feel I can learn about and be a part of the fast-paced bench-to-bedside research. Seeing patients every day is a constant reminder of why I am here.
Not only do I love the motivation behind our research, but I love the research community. It feels like a large team where everyone is connected and supportive of one another.
Why did you choose the clinical and translational science track?
I chose the clinical and translational science track because I felt that it offered me the most flexibility to pursue everything that I am interested in while still getting the education that will allow me to reach my future goals.
With clinical and translational science, we get a number of electives that I was able to use to study some of the basic sciences without feeling like I was locked into a specific scientific focus. I think the true scientific education comes from the laboratory research, and clinical and translational science allows us to gain an education above and beyond the basic sciences.
What do you like about Rochester, Minn.?
Being from Minnesota, I love the Minnesota weather and the "Minnesota nice" mentality. Beyond that, I think Rochester is young and thriving — it allows for an urban feel while also giving a small-town feel. It's the best of both worlds!
What are your plans for the future?
I hope to use my clinical and translational science education to transition into industry, working more along the administrative side of science. I have always wanted to work in the pharmaceutical industry, where I can combine and use my knowledge of translational science and my experience in basic research.