August 31, 2009

Fabulous Pre-doctoral student in Molecular Pharmacology Research: Monica Nye-Johnson

nye pic jumping on bedName: Monica D. Nye-Johnson
Hometown:  Indianapolis, IN
Education: Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) 2000-2002, Indiana University 2002-2005
Current Status: Pre Ph.D.

 When did you start work/school at Mayo Clinic? June 2005

 How did you become interested in or hear about Mayo Clinic? I first heard about research opportunities at the Mayo Clinic when I applied for the post-baccalaureate program.

What do you do here at Mayo Clinic? What is your area of specialty? I am currently a pre-doctoral fellow in Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. My thesis research focuses on the transcription factor GLI1 and it’s interaction with TGF-beta/SMAD4.

 Do you participate in any organizations, societies, clubs, memberships, professions at Mayo Clinic and/or Rochester community? I am a member of the IMSD group. I have volunteered at the Rochester Public schools as a lunch buddy.

 How does working at Mayo Clinic Rochester location differ from your hometown or where you attended school? Mayo Rochester is a much different community from where I grew up because it is much smaller. Indianapolis is the 12th largest city in the US. I grew up in a diverse neighborhood and attended a large high school and university where I was able to interact with people of several different backgrounds. The weather in Rochester in the winter is much different than home. Indy does not get very cold and not so much snow.

 Do you consider yourself diverse? I consider myself very diverse. Growing up my mother never allowed me to be in a place where I was just like everyone else. Our neighborhoods were always made of different races/ethnicity’s. I have friends from several different backgrounds ethnically and socioeconomically. I also like to think of myself as diverse because I have interest in many different types of things. I have friends who love many different things and I take pride in enjoying new things that my friends expose me too. I’m willing to try anything once, because I will never know what I will like if I do not try it first.

 How has being from a diverse background helped you succeed in getting your education or profession at Mayo Clinic? Being from a diverse background has provided me several opportunities that lead to me being here at Mayo. As an undergrad I was accepted in the Ronald E. McNair Scholars program. This program is for underrepresented minorities to expose them to careers in science. My summer internship was my first laboratory experience. I came to Mayo for the post-bac program through the IMSD funding grant. Being from a diverse background as a pre-doctoral student allows me to apply for grants geared towards increasing the number of minorities in science.

Coming from a diverse background, do you feel that people treat you different at Mayo Clinic or Rochester, MN? I feel very comfortable here at Mayo. Sometimes I have experience people treating me differently outside of Mayo in different places in Rochester.

 Do you feel that diversity plays a role in the education you are receiving or as a professional at Mayo Clinic? Mayo Clinic prides itself on being a diverse environment, so yes I feel that diversity plays a role in my education here at the Clinic. My classmates are a very diverse group of individuals. I have had the opportunity to meet people who grew up from all around the world.

 Do you think Mayo Clinic and/or Rochester, MN and/or your program is diverse? Does this affect you? I think Mayo Clinic and Rochester are both diverse. The diversity present in my work place and community do affect me, because I am apart of these two groups as well. Having a diverse community is important to me because it provides me a chance to meet people who are different from me and I’m able to experience new things because of this. I would leave things the same!


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