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CBSelfie with Anna Wojcicki

This CBS undergraduate explores broad interests, from medicine to research and social justice.
 

Anna Wojcicki


Name: Anna Wojcicki
Year: Senior
Major: Biology

You are working toward minors in Comparative U.S. Race and Ethnicity, as well as African American/African Studies. What is intriguing to you about these fields?

I have always been interested in a wide range of disciplines. Much of my life outside of CBS is dedicated to working with underrepresented populations. I appreciate the diversity of perspectives that I encounter through taking courses in the sciences and humanities. It is important to remember that science does not exist in a vacuum and that our ways of knowing are informed by cultural norms.

You recently received awards for your work in toxicology. What did it mean to you to receive these awards?

I received the Pfizer Undergraduate Award and the Committee on Diversity Initiatives Award from the Society of Toxicology in the Spring of 2015. Receiving both awards was an empowering experience. It gave me a lot of confidence in my abilities as a future research scientist.

You did summer research at Michigan State University. What did that entail and why did you want to take part in this research?

When I was a freshman at the University of Minnesota, I was diagnosed with two coagulation disorders. Determined to make the best out of my newfound condition, I began applying to summer research opportunities programs. At Michigan State, I was matched with Dr. Jim Luyendyk, a professor studying coagulation in the context of liver toxicity. My research included developing an in vitro model to identify the procoagulant effects of acetaminophen on cultured hepatocytes and utilizing an in vivo model to determine the role of fibrinogen in liver repair following acetaminophen overdose.

What are your future career plans? Why do you want to pursue this career?

Finding a way to interface biomedical research, social justice and medicine are my main objectives post graduation. Over the course of my undergraduate career, I have been privileged to participate in a wide array of experiences which have opened my mind to many different passions. I will be applying to both medical school and Ph.D. programs in the biomedical sciences. At this point, I am unsure which path I will choose, but I am confident that wherever I end up will be the right place for me.

How did CBS prepare you for your future career?

The Dean's Scholars Program has been the key to many of my undergraduate experiences. My participation in the Global Undergraduate Leaders Program and President's Emerging Scholars, was initiated by the Dean's Scholar Program. Whether I become a research scientist or a physician, the principles of leadership, service and self-awareness will follow me throughout my life.

What advice would you give to your first-year self?

Change is an inevitable consequence of life, embrace it.