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KD Misgen '12

biology department

KD Misgen

Hometown
Denver, Colorado

Notable Activities
Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program Scholar, a graduate school preparation program for first-generation college students; student manager at Addie’s Loft, an on-campus restaurant that uses locally sourced ingredients; and director of Retreats and Spirituality for the Ignatian Society of Boston College

Academic interests
I am interested in medicine, the characteristics of great physicians, and the role of doctors in the community. I intend to explore this topic as I prepare to write a thesis for the Perspectives Program. I am also engaged in research in the Williams Lab under the tutelage of Kenneth C. Williams, whose research focuses on central nervous system macrophages, neuroAIDS, AIDS pathogenesis, and monocyte/macrophage biology.

Research
My research is titled “Monocyte/macrophage activation and heart inflammation during HIV infection.” I am considering the question: Why do HIV-infected patients suffer from more cardiac pathologies than uninfected patients?

What are your interests outside of the classroom?
I love doing stereotypical Colorado activities like hiking, off-roading four-wheel drive vehicles, kayaking, running, and camping. One of my biggest passions is horseback riding. For eight years I was a member of the Westernaires, a precision mounted drill team that performs intricate routines to music at rodeos and other equine events. I continue to ride horses whenever possible.

Why did you choose to study biology?
The study of biology provides a fundamental understanding of life. It also complements my study of philosophy, as the former addresses the “how” and the latter addresses the “why” questions of our existence. Furthermore, the courses in biology that I have taken here have provided the core knowledge that will support me during my future studies in medical school.

What are the department's strengths?
The department’s greatest strengths are its faculty members, whose passion for the subject translates into a devotion to sharing their knowledge with students. During my time at Boston College, I have been blessed with the opportunity to take excellent courses from professors who were knowledgeable, and who worked hard to ensure that their students were successful inside and outside the classroom.

What are your plans for the future?
After graduation, I plan to spend a year doing volunteer work before entering medical school in 2013. I plan to become a primary care physician, ideally in pediatrics.