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Morgan Schafer

Morgan Schafer

M.D./Ph.D Student

Emory University

"My biggest fear was moving to a new city where knew very few people. I had lived my entire life in Indiana and met many wonderful life-long friends at Purdue. Moving away from all of that was challenging, but I felt I was prepared for that step in my life. My advice would be for students to do their research and take the leap even if it feels right even if it is scary. I was lucky to be entering a structured program where many people were going through a similar transition and I was able to quickly make new friends. You can make a new city feel like home, but it’s still important to stay true to your roots and keep in touch with the people who helped you get to where you are today."

What was your major/minor at Purdue and when did you graduate?

  1. Major: Biochemistry (Department of Biological Sciences)
  2. Minor: Chemistry
  3. Graduated: May 2018

What was your most compelling class and why?

My most compelling class was BIOL 395: Macromolecules with Dr. Gedney. He was an excellent teacher and he encouraged us to think outside of the box. The class was challenging, but I think it definitely helped me to develop as a scientist.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently in the medical school phase of my training. After I complete the preclinical medical coursework, I will enter a microbiology graduate program and start working on my Ph.D. thesis.

What drove you to pursue your current career path?

I chose to pursue a career as a physician scientist because I really enjoyed the science classes and research experiences I had at Purdue, but I wanted to use what I learned and apply it more directly to medicine and have more direct contact with patients. With an M.D. and Ph.D., I will be able to conduct research that is directly applicable to clinical practice and engage with the patients that can benefit most from that research.

Did you pursue internships/co-ops, research experiences, volunteer, or join student organizations while you attended Purdue?

My research experiences helped a lot for my M.D./Ph.D. interviews. By having the opportunity to take on extra responsibility in the lab, I was able to convey to researchers by passion for research and understanding of what it took to be a successful graduate student. 

What advice would you give to prospective or current Purdue students about how to make the best use of what Purdue offers?

Follow your passion and take advantage of the things Purdue can offer related to those passions. If you pursue the things that make you excited and happy, everything else in life becomes a little bit easier and work doesn’t seem so much like work.

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