In my experience, scientists are some of the most passionate individuals I’ve met. They love the work they do and devote their lives to pursuing whatever research they’re interested in.
Between my undergraduate education at CUNY Macaulay Honors College at Queens College, research at Weill Cornell Medicine, and medical education at New York Medical College the past 6 years have been spent running all over NYC and I love it.
I had the pleasure of swabbing the NYC subway station as one of my major research projects, where we were trying to catalog and map the microbiome (community of microorganisms that live in us, on us, and all around us) on these surfaces. That was an interesting summer internship to say the least. I guess I was probably one of the strangest things that the other subway riders have seen in NYC. For some context, we basically swabbed turnstiles, seats, hand rails, ticket kiosks, all sorts of surfaces you interact with every day while riding the subway, oh and we had to swab for 3 minutes…Some of my friends were thanked because people thought they were cleaning these surfaces.
The microbiome is empowering, we’re learning so much about it every day and all the applications it has in health care, public health, engineering, and so much more.
If you have any experience in bioinformatics you know the frustration of trying to get a program or script to run when it keeps failing. But – and this applies to anything you pursue whether it be science or something else – if you’re truly passionate about what you’re pursuing then you will persevere and end up successful. Failure is an inherent part of growth and should be embraced not feared or avoided.
Ebrahim Afshinnekoo is a Medical Student Research Fellow at Weill Cornell Medicine studying Microbiome & Metagenomics, Precision Medicine.