I am a senior at Johns Hopkins University finishing up pre-med and double majoring in Applied Mathematics and Statistics (AMS) and Mathematics. I am writing to apply to the Broad Cancer Genomic Scholars (BCGS) program in hopes of exploring ways to synthesize my mathematical training with that of medicine. After two years of rigorous training at BCGS, I envision myself becoming a competitive candidate for a Ph.D or MD/Ph.D program and working as a medical researcher who utilizes mathematics in doing her work.
Coming from a family with a thick cancer history, I am especially interested in computational modeling in oncology, including cancer diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment. With the vast amount of experimental and patient data available, I believe that during my time at the program, I could learn to manipulate and analyze big data as well as learn mathematical modeling and computational simulation techniques. I would like to spend two years working on clinical or population-based research, focused on modeling disease networks, disease progression, early disease detection programs, simulating clinical outcomes, and making clinical decisions based on likelihood ratios.
I am also eager to learn about molecular targeting, drug discovery, and drug development. And, I think that BCGS’s close proximity to Harvard and MIT is a perfect academic environment for me. While working as a research assistant, I have high hopes of enrolling in graduate coursework-maybe as a part-time student or during summer- to broaden my knowledge in the field of medicine and explore college campuses outside of Hopkins. Also, the structured program and the assistance and advice the program is willing to offer to its students is of extreme importance for me. Two years is not a short time. As a student who is torn between pursuing a Ph.
D and MD/Ph.D, I want to use the opportunity given by BCGS to decide what kind of career I want to commit myself to. As I have never worked as a full-time research assistant, I believe I do not yet have the grounds to decide what is best for myself. And as I believe both of the programs Ph.D or MD/Ph.
D are not programs I should commit to on a whim, I want to take time to carefully reflect on my interests medicine and my passion in mathematics and research during my time there. I hope to talk to many of the amazing people there and learn many of the wisdoms that I could not otherwise get.