My name is Alyssa Grossen and I’m currently a third year student in the OU College of Medicine program. I received my B.S. in Microbiology from OU, where I also worked in Dr. Karr’s lab for a year as an undergraduate prior to doing a year of research with her in the graduate program.
Working in Dr. Karr’s lab has been beneficial in many ways. Not only did I learn lab skills and fundamentals that make it much easier to understand medical research, Dr. Karr and her team (especially Cat Isom) were incredibly supportive in developing my knowledge and sense of curiosity about Archaea, as well as many other aspects of microbiology research. I’m very fortunate that I received such a research experience prior to medical school.
As I mentioned previously, I’m now a third year medical student and am about halfway through clinical rotations. I’ve enjoyed taking what I’ve learned from the classroom and applying it to helping patients. This is also a time when we begin to solidify our plans in terms of choosing a specialty…a task which isn’t the most straightforward for me considering I’ve enjoyed many of my rotations so far. I’m currently leaning toward Internal Medicine, a field which is very methodical but often requires creative solutions to complicated problems (much like my time doing research). I also have enjoyed the comprehensive nature of Internal Medicine, which focuses on the overall well-being of a patient rather than one specific problem he or she may have. It’s exciting to think about the possibilities!
In closing, Dr. Karr and her team were – and have continued to be – incredibly supportive in my career path, and I’m extremely thankful for the time I had with them. I highly recommend pursuing an undergraduate research experience to all science students.
– Alyssa Grossen, MSIII OU College of Medicine
Alyssa began in the Karr lab doing her Honor’s research as an undergraduate. She stuck around for another year after graduation before heading to medical school.