Stefanie N. Velgos

Why did you choose research as a career?

Biomedical research is a prerequisite for ensuring clinical advances. I want to explore new ideas and technologies to push science closer to the patients.

I was drawn to research as the complexity of science can't be deciphered by one individual, but solutions come from team efforts. I enjoy working in a team and collaborating with multiple disciplines to achieve better results by applying a holistic approach to problems.

What attracted you to Mayo Graduate School?

Mayo Graduate School is unparalleled. The unique education, research and clinical practice resources of Mayo Clinic completely overshadow other academic institutions.

What other schools can use the word "tripartite" when describing offered locations? Mayo Graduate School has opportunities to do graduate programs in Arizona, Florida or Minnesota.

Why did you choose the clinical and translational science track?

There's no other program like it around the country. The majority of clinical and translational science graduate programs were only available to physicians.

It is a privilege to be able to receive training in a world-renowned institution. I want to conduct clinical trials, and Mayo provides the perfect environment, with supportive mentors and access to patients.

What do you like about Arizona?

Arizona offers a unique learning environment full of diversity (and also real Mexican food).

I have access to a patient population that is truly distinctive and special. There are large Latino and Native American populations in Arizona that face disproportionately high rates of chronic disease burden. My mentor has launched studies among Latinos and African-Americans in Phoenix. This creates an excellent opportunity for me to broaden the horizon of my research.

We also have consortiums with Arizona State University, Banner Sun Health Research Institute and Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen). Arizona is Mayo Graduate School's best-kept secret!

What are your plans for the future?

It is a dream to design, develop and conduct large-scale, multicenter, investigator-initiated clinical trials.