PhD Candidate, Molecular & Translational Medicine
What brought you to BU?
I applied to BU because of its unique location in the biomedical hub of Boston. My research background as an undergraduate was rooted in the clinic and my goal as a Ph.D. student was to have my lab bench be as close to clinicians, hospitals and patients as possible, yet still have access to great engineers and chemists. The BU medical campus seemed to have these interdisciplinary networks established and I thought it would be a great match and it really has been. Furthermore, BU felt very student focused and I could see that I would be given the creative freedom to shape my thesis and my experiences here as a student.
What program are you in?
Because I wanted to continue to do research that translated to patient health, I chose to apply to the Molecular and Translational Medicine (MTM) Ph.D. program, which is through the Department of Medicine. MTM is also wonderful in its diversity of research fields. Before I came here I was unsure if I wanted to continue work in nutrition and metabolism or jump into infectious diseases and being an MTM student allowed me the flexibility to make that decision during my first year.
What kind of research are you involved in?
My research is within the field of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). I find research within this field to be incredibly important because STIs affect female reproductive health particularly in underprivileged communities. To better understand how the female reproductive tract responds to infections, I study epithelial cell biology in response to Neisseria gonorrhoeae. I am primarily interested in cell to cell communication and how N. gonorrhoeae may influence these communication lines to alter cell death and inflammation in neighboring cells.
What do you hope to do after you earn your degree?
After my degree I plan to find a great postdoctoral fellowship! As for the distant future, I hope to continue to research in infectious diseases and have a greater role in science policy at the NIH or CDC.
You were elected as the new GMSSO President.
I love all the community service we do with the Blood Drives and Rosie’s Place and the VA. I also really enjoy working and planning with students outside my program that I would not normally see. It’s a community for me. As president specifically, I have the unique opportunity to work with GMS faculty and that has been really neat and insightful too. Running GMSSO is hard work and pulls me in several directions but I find it to be an outlet for me. It helps me keep momentum even when lab life is hard and frustrating.
Are you involved in many activities on campus?
I have been a TA for FiBS module IV for two years and a peer mentor for our first year PiBS students. I try to participate in art events here on campus and I am also a liaison for sustainability @ BU.
What is your favorite part of your life as a student?
Community! And wondering where in the world we will be in 10 years.
What do you enjoy doing outside of BU?
I love new adventures and new hobbies and I am therefore very mediocre at many things. But I always have running and cooking and music in my life. I have wonderful people too.
Do you have any advice for current students?
Do not take graduate school personally. It is supposed to push you beyond your comfort and make you question yourself and your abilities. It is part of the process to become great.
If you are planning to submit your thesis or dissertation and complete your program requirements for (September 2014) you might want to attend an ETDs Workshop to familiarize yourself with the process. These workshops will assist you in the ETD submission process and staff will be available to answer any questions you may have. Please review the informational videos that are available at http://www.bu.edu/buniverse/search/?q=dioa&submit . There are two sessions still remaining at the Medical Campus at the following dates and times.
MED Thesis/Dissertation Workshop: Friday 2/28/2014, 11:30am-1pm
MED Thesis/Dissertation Workshop: Wednesday 3/5/2014, 10:30am-12pm
Students must pre-register to attend at: http://www.bu.edu/dioa/student-resources/etd-workshops-registration/
Thursday, February 13th
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Sign up for an appointment
Mon. Feb. 3rd– Tues. Feb. 11th 11-1pm
in the medical school lobby
or visit redcrossblood.org
For more information or to submit a poster abstract or workshop proposal visit: http://www.bumc.bu.edu/jmedday/
Science is a booming, vibrant industry in the city of Boston. Between the universities, research institutions and biotechnology companies that pepper the city blocks, it isn’t any wonder why Boston is sometimes referred to as the “Athens of America”. While a typical career path may pursue the direction of academic research, there are also many alternative careers that go beyond the bench.
In an effort to bring these alternative careers in science to the forefront, the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) in conjunction with the BUSM Office of Professional Development and Postdoctoral Affairs (OPDPA), the BUSM Division of Graduate Medical Sciences (GMS) and the Cambridge Science Festival, is hosting a speed networking event Alternative Careers in Science. This event, open to the BUMC community, will provide the opportunity to learn about a wide variety of career paths across the STEM fields from mid to late-career professionals in a fun, low-pressure environment.
This two-and-a-half hour event will be held in a speed networking fashion where participants will interact with more than 20 experienced panelists who will give insight into their chosen professions. The event will open and conclude with a half hour of networking and light refreshments. There will be five 15-minute sessions during which participants can learn about a different field of expertise, including:
- Academia and Teaching
- Business Development
- Competitive Intelligence
- Consulting, Engineering
- Human Resources
- Medical Affairs
- Medical Writing
- Patent Law
- Product Management
- Project Management
- Research and Development (R&D)
- Regulatory Affairs
- Science Policy
- Social Enterprise
- Technology Transfer
Alternative Careers in Science will take place on Tuesday, April 22 from 6:30-9 p.m. in the BUSM Instructional Building, 14th Floor, Hiebert Lounge. A light dinner will be provided. Register for the event here.
The Master of Arts in Medical Sciences is hosting an Open House on Friday, January 17, 2014 from 3-6PM at Boston University School of Medicine, Room L-211.
The Master of Arts in Medical Sciences (MAMS) Program introduces students to a broad range of topics in the medical sciences while strengthening their academic credentials for admission to medical and other professional schools. It is a 32-credit program, with a required thesis, that can be completed in one or two calendar years. All coursework is taken in the first year but many student elect to use the second year to gain valuable research and volunteer experience at Boston University School of Medicine, Boston Medical Center or off-campus.
Please RSVP to:
Dr. Gwynneth Offiner