How does your Mayo Graduate School education compare with previous education that you have received at other institutions?
In terms of didactic training, I have found Mayo to be highly comparable to my undergraduate institution, which I think is an excellent thing. At both institutions students receive a lot of individual attention, and lecturers are usually very approachable and willing to help if you need extra assistance. The courses are very thorough, but the workload generally is kept manageable so classes are fairly easy to balance with research.
What opportunities have you been introduced to since being at Mayo Graduate School?
By far the most exciting opportunity I have had at Mayo has been being involved in the development and implementation of a clinical trial. What started as some very basic research resulted in the identification of a potential new chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. After consulting with a few clinicians, plans were under way for the clinical trial before we had even published the original research findings. It has been really exciting and valuable to be involved in the development of the trial. It is an experience I doubt I would have had at another institution at this stage of my training.
Why did you choose Mayo Graduate School?
There were two primary reasons I chose Mayo. The first was the truly unique nature of training in an organization that is primarily a medical institution, instead of a more traditional academic setting. Being surrounded by patients on a daily basis provides a great reminder of why you are working in research and that your efforts are going toward a critically important end. The second reason was that I saw Mayo as a place where translation of basic research to the bedside was occurring in real time. Indeed, I have seen that translation firsthand.
How would you describe the atmosphere of Mayo Clinic?
I would describe Mayo's atmosphere as both patient-focused and collaborative. One of the greatest assets of Mayo's research community is the ease and comfort with which groups can collaborate on projects, ultimately enhancing the quality of research happening at Mayo.
What are your plans for the future?
I am currently looking into postdoctoral opportunities in the area of neuropsychiatric pharmacology. Ultimately, I hope to establish myself as a professor and researcher at a smaller academic institution.
If you could describe Mayo Clinic in one word, what would it be?
With what activities are you involved in Rochester?
I am an avid cyclist and a somewhat less avid runner. I am part of a group of graduate students who go do various races around the Rochester and Minneapolis-St. Paul areas just for fun.
How does Rochester differ from your hometown? College community?
Rochester is much smaller than my hometown and much more family-friendly than the town in which I went to college. Rochester is a friendly and safe-feeling community. There are a lot of excellent parks and trails and places to hang out. I have found it an easy and enjoyable place to live.