Computational Biologist, Calico Life Sciences
You do not have to be the "best" in class to want to pursue a particular STEM field.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I am an Applied Mathematician by training and use mathematical modeling skills to understand the biology that controls aging and lifespan and develop interventions that enable people to lead longer and healthier lives.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?
I really liked mathematics for most of my life ( there were of course ups and downs in my relationship with math, as goes with any relationship). The application of mathematics in the field of healthcare and biology and the immense unexplored possibilities blew my mind and attracted me to the field of Biomathematics.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"
Building my first mathematical model to explain how the human body behaves when it has undergone a kidney transplant and how it can be used to predict optimal drug dosage for patients. This was part of my PhD thesis, I had never known the true potential of mathematics in medicine till I started building my first model.
WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?
The human body is an amazing complex machine and the fact that my work allows me to use math to understand even a small piece of it is extremely rewarding and fulfilling!
BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?
While there are some more defined and well known paths in a STEM career, the possibilities of what you can pursue with a STEM background is endless! Also you do not have to be the "best" in class to want to pursue a particular STEM field, I was not, you just have to do your best and stick to it even on days when things seem hard.
INSPO / FUN FACT
“No matter where you are from your dreams are valid.”
― Lupita Nyong'o