biochemgirl67 Posted October 27, 2015 Share Posted October 27, 2015 I am posting my personal statement draft for my top choice, Harvard. I am having some serious issues knowing if it is compelling enough or too dry or not persuasive. I would really REALLY appreciate any feedback on it. It's a 3 pager, just for reference. I haven’t always wanted to be a scientist; during my childhood, I sometimes dreamed of becoming a doctor, a writer, or an artist. I felt these professions could change the world. As I matured, I became more aware of the acute and chronic medical crises on a global scale and more specifically the lag in scientific innovation in treating grievous diseases. The continued plague of cancer, increasing chronic viral infections, and most recently the Ebola epidemic have demonstrated the need for scientists on the frontier of research and together with my academic and research experiences cemented my goal to position myself as a leader of disease research. I am excited to participate in cutting edge biomedical research and have worked to accumulate academic and research experiences during my undergraduate career geared towards allowing me to study the immune system’s role in disease. Together, my experiences have whittled my goals to become a principal investigator capable of changing our understanding of disease and have spurred and cultivated my overall desire to pursue scientific study at a higher level in graduate school.My academic record shows sustained and exceptional achievement concomitant with intense research work, proving that I will be successful at a graduate level. In order to distinguish myself beyond a basic curriculum, I chose to add minors in microbiology and genetics as well as pursue rigorous graduate courses in preparation for a doctoral program. These graduate classes included biochemistry, molecular genetics, immunology, virology, and molecular signaling and increased my interest in the organization of the immune system in relation to disease. I was encouraged to expand my skill set beyond that of a typical undergraduate, becoming intimately familiar with experimental practices and modern research efforts through intense study of published literature and drafting both an NIH proposal on the dynamic relationship between T cell receptor signaling and HTLV-1 infection and a review on the relationship between HIV-1 infection and T cell biology and lymphopoiesis. My demonstrated academic success will undoubtedly continue into my graduate study and has deepened and focused my interest in the immune system and its signaling. At ***, I joined the laboratory of Dr. *** in January 2014. She and I generated a pilot project connecting past work on the JIL-1 tandem kinase loss-of-function mutations consequences to an obesity phenotype in Drosophila melanogaster. I became the lead investigator on the project, responsible for engineering and troubleshooting novel experimental set ups for the JIL-1 mutant panel, including a larval buoyancy assay, starvation assays, and a capillary feeder (CAFE) assay as well as dissection and analysis of larval fat bodies. The independent work, design of experiments, and connection to biomedical problem of the genetic basis and control of obesity bolsters my current goals of both the study of cellular regulation and signaling and contributing to the larger scientific conversation through graduate study.I participated in the NSF REU program in microbiology at the University of *** in the laboratory of Dr. ***, working on the connection between diversity in the gut microbiome and resistance to malarial infection. I cultured Lactobacillus strains found in both resistant and susceptible mice and compared their 16S rRNA sequences to construct phylogenetic trees to determine candidates for probiotic therapy. I also sequenced and phylogenetically compared bacteria in a yogurt concoction made to inoculate gnotobiotic mice in future testing of resistivity. My experience at the University of *** allowed me to become proficient in several genetic and microbial techniques as well as use published literature to explain results, further piquing my interest in a high-level research career. I was named as a 2015 Amgen Scholar through Harvard University and worked in the laboratory of Dr. *** at *** researching the effect bone marrow niche cell TNF receptor signaling has on hematopoietic population recovery after chemotherapy in mice. I received intensive training in flow cytometry techniques, genetic analysis, and preparation and staining of cellular samples and was able to combine subject matter from my graduate level immunology and molecular signaling courses to thoroughly scour the published literature in order to interpret my results and generate new directions for future study. This research cemented my long-standing interest in the contribution of the immune system and its signaling to diseases such as cancer, infections, and autoimmune disorders as a concrete direction for my future study.My mentors and their research have motivated me to become a principal investigator of disease research in immunology. My goal is to pursue a career path in scientific research that allows me to design experiments and projects to seek answers about the molecular mechanisms and consequences of immune cell regulation through signaling. I am most interested in a position at an institution that focuses on the research of grievous disease including cancer, microbial infection, and autoimmune disorders in order to participate in the next frontier of disease research focused on the immune system as a dynamic organ. My research interests span several classical disciplines, including microbiology, genetics, virology, and stem cell biology and converge upon the study of human disease and disorder through immune regulation, organization, and signaling. Graduate school will allow me to achieve my career and research goals by fostering my critical thinking abilities, scientific creativity, and immunological technique repertoire in order to efficiently investigate problems. My summer at Harvard University convinced me that the Immunology Program is an ideal place to grow and develop into an accomplished scientist capable of generating important research questions. The Immunology Program boasts a robust faculty and research community in Cambridge and Longwood Medical Area in conjunction with major research topics that align with my interests including immune regulation, T cell biology, immune response to infection, and autoimmunity. The laboratories of Marjorie Oettinger and Roberto Chiarle particularly exemplify my choice due to their focus on immune system organization and regulation in connection to disease. They both apply non-traditional techniques to study immune regulation in the role of T cell development in resistance to infection to V(D)J recombination molecular regulation to the biochemical and genetic basis of lymphoma progression, respectively. Although they are only a fraction of the faculty with whom I am excited to work, they are stellar examples of leaders and innovators directly involved in important disease research of the immune system and represent faculty that define Harvard University’s Immunology Program as my top choice doctoral program.On the basis of my academic achievement, extensive research experiences, and career goals, I intend to pursue a doctorate that combines important research and an exceptional environment. My previous experiences have cultivated a deep seated interest in immune regulation, organization, and signaling that applies to diseases such as pathogenic infection, cancer, and autoimmune disorders. The sustained success in research and academics I have demonstrated ensures continued success at a graduate level and underlies my overall desire to become a scientist spearheading new research frontiers. Harvard University’s Immunology Program is an ideal place to expand my education through its unbeatable community of researchers and intense focus on topics that capture my imagination and have the power to change lives. I was not always intent on being a scientist, but my experiences and passion for science will propel me into a meaningful career focused on the pursuit of answers. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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