Kevin C. Miller

Why did you choose research as a career?

I decided to go to medical school to become a diagnostician, treat complex diseases and develop meaningful relationships with people. But about one year in, I realized that I missed the research mindset that I cultivated at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as an undergraduate. Moreover, I developed an insatiable interest in cancer biology and treatment, particularly for the hematological malignancies.

Therefore, I decided to invest time outside of the medical school curriculum to learn more about basic, translational and clinical research. I hope to spend a significant portion of my future career helping advance the understanding of cancer and improve the outlook for patients.

What attracted you to Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences?

I wanted to study a specific type of blood cancer at the molecular level in the laboratory and also build clinical research skills. Working with Shaji Kumar, M.D., and Vijay G. Ramakrishnan, Ph.D., on multiple myeloma has given me a chance to do both.

In addition, the coursework in the CCaTS curriculum seemed like a great opportunity to get a solid foundation in statistics and other important disciplines that we don't focus on in medical school.

Why did you choose the clinical and translational science track?

This is the most applicable track to my interests. My primary project is doing hypothesis-driven research at the bench using multiple myeloma cell lines, with the hopes that our findings can be translated into future prospective studies.

In addition, thanks to the research ardor of Dr. Kumar and the rest of the Mayo Clinic Myeloma, Amyloidosis and Dysproteinemia Disease Oriented Group (MADDOG), I've been able to get involved with clinical projects as well, diversifying my research experience. Having a foot in both camps provides me with the most learning opportunities.

What do you like about Rochester?

Ice cream at Flapdoodles. Or Dairy Queen if my spouse-to-be is picking. It's a stressor in our relationship, but we are working on it.

What are your plans for the future?

I want to eventually do a fellowship in hematology-oncology at a top academic institution, and hopefully someday develop expertise in a particular type of blood cancer from a clinical and research perspective.