I grew up in Tipp City, Ohio, before attending the University of Pittsburgh as part of the Guaranteed Admit Program to Pitt’s School of Medicine. I’m pursuing a double major in Biological Sciences and Religious Studies. Beyond my involvement as a Pitt Pathfinder, University Honors College Ambassador, and President Pro-Tempore of the Student Government Board, my academic experience has been centered on research and experiential learning. During my sophomore year, I studied the relationship between IL-17-producing Th17 cells and chronic autoimmune disease, particularly their role in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. At the same time I was also working on a clinical research team and was given the opportunity to screen trauma patients admitted to the Emergency Department at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in order to study acute inflammation. Discerning parallels between both of these projects, I wrote a research proposal on the role of Th17 cells in acute inflammation for the 2013 Goldwater competition. That proposal was passed around UPMC and later supported and funded by the Center for Inflammation and Regenerative Modeling. Currently, my research is promoting collaboration between two of the world’s leading labs in inflammation.
However, my interest in healing extends beyond the lab. In the summer of 2013, I worked in an Orthodox Christian monastery in Northern Greece that provides free health care to the underserved populations of Eastern Europe. It is this synthesis of academics, service, and citizenship that I seek to embody as a student of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.