Channeling My Passion

I have had a passion for medicine and research since mid-high school. However, I was not sure about whether I would pursue one, the other, both, or the integration of the two as my future career.

At the start of my undergraduate career, I was set on trying to get into the M.D., Ph.D. program to integrate the two fields, as well as apply myself in both settings, as I always loved biology and medicine and had experience with clinical and translational research previously. However, when I started working in a microtubule lab at the beginning of my sophomore year, I fell in love again with research and leaned heavily towards going into research as a career with a Ph.D.
For the next year, I struggled to figure out what direction was best for me by gaining more experience and by talking to many people. This is part of the reason that I decided to apply for this fellowship. Not only will I gain more experience with lab work, Dr. Peterson is also giving me the opportunity to help with patient recruitment for the project that I am a part of, so that I can also get clinic and patient exposure.

I believe this fellowship opportunity will help me realize how best to channel my dual commitments to medicine and biological research … and to find a good balance or combination that will allow me to help the most people while following my passion.

Ami Yamamoto

About the Author:

LFM 2013 Student Summer Fellow Ami Yamamoto will be a junior at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities this fall. She is currently working on her major in Genetics, Cell Biology and Development in the College of Biological Sciences Honors Program. Ami’s passion lies in medicine and biological research, and she hopes to both practice medicine and do research in the future. Ami will be working in Dr. Peterson’s lab this summer on a project to help understand the effects of the PTPN22 risk gene on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus patients and their immune response.
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