Hometown: Howell, MI
Undergraduate school: Michigan State University, 2002
Degree/field of study: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
"I’ve always had an interest in biology, but more in terms of understanding and solving problems when something goes wrong. Pharmacology was a perfect fit for me because it integrates many disciplines for the common purpose of understanding how drugs work and discovering new therapies.
"I knew that I wanted to do my graduate work in Pharmacology. The reputation of Michigan’s Pharmacology department as one of the best in the nation (as well as the oldest) was a big factor in my decision. I knew that PIBS was the right choice for me after the interview weekend. Everyone (staff, students and faculty) was very welcoming, and I could tell that this was a great environment to be in as a graduate student.
"The best part about PIBS is all the opportunities and choices that you have as a first-year student. The PIBS year provided a good background into the principles of biochemistry, and molecular and cellular biology. This came in very handy once I began taking the Pharmacology courses, most of which required us to be able to critically analyze and discuss published literature relevant to our discipline. The core classes required in the first semester are a great foundation for all of the different directions that we end up taking later on.
"Because there are hundreds of labs to choose from, picking a lab for rotation does require a little bit of research on the student’s part. The summer before I started, I contacted several faculty members whose work I found interesting (based on the lab website and publications) and set up meetings to talk to them in person.
"I actually rotated first through a lab in Biological Chemistry, and it was very easy to go back and do my second rotation in Pharmacology and then join this department."