Emma Winkler’s perspective

We currently live in an incredible era of biomedical research that has bloomed substantially over the past decades. Marvelous technological advances in microscopy, imaging, genetics, computation, and structural determination have transformed not only how we do basic research, but have heavily influenced many disciplines of medicine, leading to discoveries that now substantially impact patient care. Despite the resources and intense energy that are now channeled into better understanding human disease, there is no shortage of new questions and it seems that the more we know, the more aware we are of what we do not know.

Simultaneously, the cultures and environments that surround clinicians and scientists can be, at times, strikingly dissimilar. I have begun to appreciate more and more through my training with the WashU MSTP that both these groups speak their own language and having the ability to successfully navigate both these environments is something extremely valuable with great utility. I want to be a physician-scientist because I want to bridge the divide that exists between these two very complementary yet distinct communities. As a physician-scientist, I want to harness the power of these technological and scientific advances to better understand human health and disease with the ultimate hope of improving the lives of my patients in enduring ways.

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