Hirotaka Ata

Why did you choose research as a career?

What really consolidated my interest in research was my Summer Undergraduate Research Program experience under Kane Schaphorst, M.D., at the University of South Alabama.

As a physician-scientist, Dr. Schaphorst helped me understand the direct translational value of his bench research in lung biology for his critical care practice. Under his mentorship, my interest in pursuing a career in medicine evolved to become an interest in pursuing a career as a physician-scientist.

What attracted you to Mayo Graduate School?

Mayo Clinic has a great breadth and depth of clinical resources. Furthermore, when I visited Mayo for my interviews, I really liked the collegial environment widely shared among the researchers at Mayo.

Why did you choose the clinical and translational science track?

Having been really interested in translational science, I thought that the level of training that I would get through the clinical and translational science track would be of tremendous value in designing future clinical trials and to guide my benchtop research.

What do you like about Rochester, Minnesota?

Summer and proximity to nature.

What are your plans for the future?

My goal is to travel to Antarctica; then I can say I've been to all six continents.