My MCW Story: Nicole Minton
My experience in SPUR was a huge reason why I applied to MCW.
As a kid, Nicole Minton loved working puzzles. It is this desire to learn how all the puzzle pieces fit together that eventually led her to pursuing a doctoral degree in the biomedical sciences.
“The questions we ask in the sciences are all contributing to the completion of a larger puzzle, which I find fascinating,” Nicole said. “I want to be able to say I contributed to completing the larger picture.”
Nicole is currently a first-year student in MCW’s Interdisciplinary Program in Biomedical Sciences, an umbrella program that allows students to explore research labs/mentors in nearly all basic sciences departments before eventually choosing a specific focus. While still undecided, she is leaning toward pursuing her PhD in microbiology and immunology, focusing on infectious diseases.
Nicole was exposed to MCW in 2017 as a participant in MCW’s Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR), which annually provides about 35 people from across the country with hands-on health/medical research experience. Through the program, Nicole worked in the lab of Vera Tarakanova, PhD, looking at the roles of proteins in a signaling pathway that responds to gammaherpesvirus infection. Participation made her decision of where to go for graduate school easier.
“My experience in SPUR was a huge reason why I applied to MCW,” she said. “Everyone is super-supportive and collaborative, and the research being conducted is cutting-edge.”