My career goal is to become an independent cancer researcher and future faculty member in a University or medical school setting. After working in Dr. Robin Felder’s lab at the University of Virginia (UVA) for four years, I realized how much I enjoyed teaching, problem solving, and conducting high-quality original research. My experience in his laboratory provided me with an excellent arsenal of molecular, biochemical, and cell biology skills to ask the right questions and provide the answers creatively in science. Mastery of these techniques coupled with asking informed questions and problem-solving skills helped me to earn co-authorship on multiple peer-reviewed publications as well as two book chapters (see Publications for details).
With Dr. Felder’s support and encouragement, I decided to pursue a PhD career path that may lead to a tenure-track faculty position. My choice has been reaffirmed every day ever since matriculating into the Biomedical Sciences PhD program at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS). Each day I cannot wait to get into the lab to learn new skills and acquire new knowledge from my mentors, peers, and Dr. Amy H. Tang, my PI. I hope that my interest in science and my talents in research will lead to major scientific discoveries that will make a significant impact against metastatic cancer in the future. My training plan will allow me to grow, strengthen, and refine my current repertoire of research knowledge and techniques, as well as stretch my intellectual capacity as a creative thinker, role model, and academic leader. I know that I have the determination, intelligence, skills, and temperament to pursue an independent academic cancer research career path now and in the future.
As I envision my future self, I see an educated, inquisitive intellectual and life-long learner who is not only satiating my own curiosity, but also imparting the thrill of discovery and knowledge onto the next generations of competitive young scientists. I live for those sparks of clarity in my students’ eyes when a concept I have been teaching “clicks”. My PhD and postdoctoral mentors, research training plan, and personal goals will provide a solid foundation for me to launch my independent academic career in cancer research and become the out-of-the-box thinker and highly competitive scientist that I strive to become. I know that many interactions along my journey will propel me forward as I pursue my career path of becoming a postdoctoral fellow and future tenure-track faculty and high-quality cancer researcher at a top tier US institution.