- Title CAS ’25
Major and Minor: Double Major in Biomedical Philosophy and Biology
Area of Research: Cardiac Outcomes
Name of Mentor: Lab Mentor: Dr. Peyman Benharash (UCLA DGSOM); BU Sponsor: Professor Uwe Beffert
How did you get involved in research?
I got involved with research at CORELAB by reaching out to a lab member and cardiac and seeking an interview with Dr. Benharash in my first year at UC Irvine. Upon transferring to BU, I sought assistance from BU’s UROP where I was introduced to Dr. Daneshmand given his previous work with UROP. I reached out to him, and am now starting a research assistant position in his study on brain death.
How did you meet your mentor?
Dr. Benharash requested to interview me via Zoom about a month after I sought a position at CORELAB, and a few months later I officially met him in person on my first day at CORELAB. Later, in my first semester at BU, I was a student in Professor Beffert’s course on cell biology (BI 203) and met with him several times for advice on approaching academics at BU, finding research positions, and preparing for medical school applications.
What has your UROP experience taught you?
My UROP experience taught me to be persistent. During my first year of college at UC Irvine, I began to doubt my passion for medicine. Clinical research at CORELAB was the reason I decided to continue to pursue this career. CORELAB enabled me to engage both my interest in medicine and the humanities towards one common goal of improving clinical practice and healthcare policy in the U.S. This ultimately gave me a true purpose to pursue medicine, far beyond doing so clinically help others, but also to make a significant societal difference.
How has this experience helped you with non-research related things at BU?
My work and achievements at CORELAB gave me confidence that I could and will pursue and succeed in the medical field. It is easy to experience imposter syndrome during this path; but the ability to gain achievements within the clinical field at such a young age assured me that I could achieve my wildest dreams. Furthermore, clinical outcomes research gave me a substantial reason to pursue medicine, making me eager to contribute to significant societal change within the healthcare field. CORELAB also introduced me to mentors that I wholeheartedly look up to and work hard to become one day. Within my personal life, in addition to gaining confidence, I gained skills in coding and manuscript composition, conference presentations, and public speaking.
What does a day in your research life look like?
Since I cannot go to the lab every day due to my classes and school work, I try to make the most of the days when I am present in the lab. Typically, my day involves conducting literature reviews on the topics I have been assigned, identifying ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes related to the disorders under study and entering them into STATA for statistical analysis, composing drafts of manuscripts and abstracts assigned to me, and constructing graphs and tables associated with those manuscripts and abstracts. Typically, we also make time for team lunches or dinners.
What advice would you give to someone interested in UROP?
Quite honestly, I did not originally intend to pursue UROP because I thought that the program would be too backed-up to help me. Upon reaching out, though, I immediately gained results. UROP staff were incredibly kind and responsive and helped me through every step of the process of finding research positions. I would advise every student interested in UROP, or any sort of research, to immediately seek the program as it can be incredibly difficult to find positions on one’s own and UROP truly facilitates the process in a supportive environment.
I am beyond grateful for the opportunities that UROP has brought to me and am excited to show my gratitude by working hard towards significant achievements. I was pleasantly surprised to find a supportive group at UROP that successfully helped me pursue research as a recent transfer student at Boston University. Having experienced clinical research in California, I was determined to find dry laboratories similar to UCLA’s CORELAB, where I previously volunteered, and contribute to clinical research. Though I was having a difficult time finding a position on my own, UROP immediately put me into contact with faculty members leading research projects I was interested in; and I am honored to announce that I have accepted a research position studying brain death alongside Dr. Daneshmand and received a travel grant for presenting at the 18th Annual Academic Surgical Congress.