Kiri E. Sunde

Why did you choose research as a career?

My previous clinical experiences have taught me that scientific research can be leveraged to alleviate human suffering. In my future practice, I hope to allow my patients' most pressing needs to guide my scientific inquiries and, in turn, to allow the research to inform how I treat my patients to deliver the best possible care.

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

After two years at Mayo Medical School (now called Mayo Clinic School of Medicine), I knew I wanted to stay at Mayo to pursue additional research before completing my medical degree. The M.D.-M.S. program has allowed me to build on the interests I developed and the connections I made during medical school, while offering new and exciting opportunities within the graduate school.

Why did you choose the clinical and translational science track?

I have found that the most pioneering and successful clinicians do not observe a strict compartmentalization between science and medicine; rather, they synthesize advances in basic research together with clinical implementation under the singular focus of patient care.

I hope to emulate this model, allowing the research-clinical axis of my future practice to be fluid. The clinical and translational science track was the perfect fit for these goals.

What do you like about Rochester?

I am a small-town girl at heart. Rochester is actually the largest city I've lived in. I was drawn to the comforts of a small town that plays host to one of the largest and most reputable medical centers in the world. Rochester quickly felt like home.

What are your plans for the future?

I plan to complete a residency in pediatrics and a fellowship in medical genetics. I hope to work as a pediatrician who provides both primary care and subspecialty services to children with complex genetic disorders, with a combination of patient care, research and education.

I believe such a career will offer the intellectual stimulation, relational depth and meaningful work that drew me to medicine.