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VPD alumnus Felix having a blast in his MD-PhD program

VPD alumnus Felix is having a blast in the MD-PhD program! This summer he finished MD year 2 and took USMLE Step 1, a standardized test that is the single largest determining factor in residency placement. He scored within the top 5%, putting him among the top 100 applicants in pediatrics. His research is on integrating DNA, RNA, and phenotypic data from patients with congenital heart defects to try and identify genetic causes. It's an incredible combination of math, biology, and medicine. As he mentioned, ‘The intense and independent research experiences I had in VPD lab are definitely paying off.’

Also, last summer (2014) he spent 2 weeks in rural Maharashtra! A physician couple implemented a very successful community health program in Jamkhed and the surrounding towns, and their purpose was to learn about this model and brainstorm ways of applying it in the US healthcare system. His favorite part of the trip was spending time at the local preschool- he brought 1000 balloons from the US and made balloon animals for all the kids (picture attached).

Felix was an undergrad in VPD group and is currently doing MD/PhD at NYC Mt. Sinai. In an email that he wrote to Professor Dravid a year ago, he said ‘I wanted to thank you again for all the support you have given me over the last 5 years. I love the MD-PhD program at Mount Sinai- the students are great, I like what I’m learning, and I am really well prepared to handle both the MD and PhD components, thanks in part to your advice and the research I did in your lab. I can’t stress enough how much I appreciate everything you did for me, and will be sure to stop by the next time I’m at Northwestern!’ The attached picture was Felix on the roof of the Mount Sinai Hospital, and in Arches National Park.

Congratulations to Felix, and wish him all the best in the future!

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