Thursday, August 03, 2006


Biology is the study of life. This is how our professor introduced human endocrinology to the class, fall semester of my senior year. It was a statement that resonated with me because it succinctly expressed what originally sparked my desire to be a biologist: curiosity about all living things.

In fact, it was the broadness of my interest which had originally led me to pick molecular environmental biology as my major. M.E.B. is a major with a large scope; an interdisciplinary major, it demands that its students have an understanding of life on all levels, from cellular to ecosystem. It was this broadness in scope that led me to another class I took the fall semester of my senior year: Environmental Health and Development taught by E.C. Early in the class Professor C., while lecturing on pandemics, mentioned the question of where do diseases come from. If we were interested, she told the class, we should ask her after lecture for some additional reading. Curious about why and how diseases emerge in human populations, I approached Professor C. after class and she recommended some supplementary reading which included several chapters from Laurie Garrett’s book The Coming Plague. The first of chapter of the book tells the story of Bolivian hemorrhagic fever and the work of Merl Kuns, the ecologist who discovered the zoonotic source of the fever and I found myself deeply impressed with the idea of looking to surrounding ecosystems for answers to questions concerning human health.

Publishing so I can see all my mistakes.
Nascent, in progress, to be continued...

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