Rosita Zakeri

Why did you choose research as a career?

I am a cardiology fellow from the U.K., and my clinical practice really opened my eyes to the importance of clinical and basic science research. For my own interest in heart failure, there is still so much we don't understand about the pathophysiology and a desperate need for more effective therapies.

What attracted you to Mayo Graduate School?

At Mayo, research and clinical medicine are so intricately intertwined that it was an ideal choice for me, not to mention the international reputation for excellence in both domains. It's great to be able to work alongside and under the mentorship of expert clinicians and scientists, many of whom are leaders in their respective fields.

Why did you choose the clinical and translational science track?

I was particularly interested in the clinical and translational science program as it seemed perfect for my immediate and longer term aspirations. The varied graduate-level classes offer structured training in scientific disciplines and research mechanics, which I've been able to tailor to fulfill my personal and professional educational interests.

Also, the diversity of research disciplines incorporated within clinical and translational science was intriguing. I've had the chance to engage in wet-lab and epidemiological research, as well as clinical studies in humans. I've found there is a general air of enthusiasm here for whatever you may be driven toward.

What do you like about Rochester, Minn.?

Rochester is a world apart from the big-city life in London, but a gem in its own right. From day one, I was struck by how friendly everyone was — it was easy to build a diverse social network here.

Though on first glance it might seem like a quiet town, beneath the surface there's a surprising amount of bustle, and a foray into the nearby Twin Cities has something to suit everyone's tastes.

Rochester is also great for outdoor activities. I've taken up soccer and skiing while here, and the infamous Minnesota winter is something to be beheld and embraced!

What are your plans for the future?

I plan to return to the U.K. to complete my specialist training in cardiology, and I look forward to continuing my passion for research in a combined clinical and academic career. I am confident that the knowledge and skills I develop during my Ph.D. will equip me to design and conduct innovative research for years to come.

Ultimately, I hope to be able to make a worthwhile contribution to improving outcomes for patients with heart failure.

March 10, 2015