Hometown: Plymouth, MN
Education: Northwestern University
MD Mentor: Dr. Manos Brilakis
Staff Mentors: Spyros Kostantinis and Bavana Rangan
Project: Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on weight, physical activity, blood pressure and diabetes control and the impact of vaccine status
How did you hear about the MHIF internship and why did you want to participate?
I originally learned about the MHIF internship from my grandfather’s cardiologist, Dr. Scott Sharkey. When I heard his passion for this internship, I knew this was an amazing opportunity that I wanted to pursue. Being able to participate in opportunities such as diving into ground-breaking cardiovascular research, shadowing outstanding physicians, and observing open-heart surgery makes this internship unique.
What sparked your interest in the field of research, medicine and cardiology?
I have been excited about pursuing medicine for as long as I can remember. I had many experiences growing up that have reinforced this interest. From dissecting a porcine heart on my kitchen table for a science fair project as a wide-eyed third-grader to shadowing interventional cardiologists as a high schooler to visiting a pediatric heart hospital in Vietnam alongside a Children’s HeartLink team in college, I continue to be fascinated by and passionate about cardiology and medicine more broadly.
What is your desired career in medicine?
I love working with kids of all ages, so I am leaning toward going into some specialty in pediatrics. As for the specifics, I am keeping my options open and am excited to learn more about cardiology this summer.
What are you most looking forward to this summer?
This summer I am excited to dig into important and topical research, studying cardiovascular risks related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to clinical research, I am excited to get to know the other members of my intern cohort and form relationships with my MD and staff mentors.
What do you hope to gain from this experience?
I hope to learn more about clinical research practices and build strong connections with everyone at MHIF.
What are your plans after the summer?
I plan on taking the MCAT in September and applying to medical school next summer after finishing up my senior year at Northwestern.
What is a fun fact about you?
I love sports! I am on the club soccer team at Northwestern and am co-president of Northwestern Special Olympics.