Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Spotlight on the Class of 2017


We caught up with recent alumni who are starting careers in medicine and public policy.

John Messinger (CAS '17)

What did you study at NYU?

I majored in Neural Science and was also on the pre-medical track, granting me a minor in Chemistry.

What is your favorite memory of your time at NYU?

My favorite memory from NYU was all of the time I spent with the wrestling team. From October to Mid-March each year I would travel all over the country each weekend to compete. Wrestling was one of the most challenging parts of my NYU career, especially when balanced with academics. However, because of how demanding the sport was, it was also extremely rewarding. My closest and dearest friends are all from the wrestling team. I was able to achieve some amazing feats such as competing in 150 matches and winning 115, qualifying for nationals twice, and earning Academic All-American honors three times during my career. Most importantly, wrestling gave me the discipline and focus to accomplish everything I have in my four years. I truly do not know where I would be without having wrestling as my center piece.

What are your current plans?

Right now I am finishing up the project I completed as a part of my senior honors thesis in the Glimcher Lab in the Center for Neural Science. This project works with recovering opioid-addicted individuals in Bellevue Hospital's Methadone Maintenance Treatment Program to study the effects of drug craving on their decision making abilities. The hope is to eventually publish this work in a peer-reviewed journal.

This summer, I began a full-time position at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as a Research Technician in the laboratory of Dr. Prasad Adusumilli. Dr. Adusumilli's primary research project involves a cutting-edge treatment known as CAR-T therapy, which harnesses the power of the patient's own immune system to specifically target and kill cancerous cells. As a Research Technician, I complete many of the essential procedures to ensure all of the lab's experiments run smoothly.

What advice do you wish you had been given when you were an incoming NYU student?

When I was an incoming student at NYU, I wish someone had alerted me to the fact that being in New York allows you to do literally whatever you'd like as far as academic or professional pursuits are concerned. Since being exposed to all of the amazing research and medicine that is going on in New York, I have begun to hone my interests and discover the full extent of what the city has to offer. If I had grasped this fact as an incoming student, I believe I would've been able to be identify my personal interests sooner and fully taken advantage of everything the city has to offer.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see myself in medical school. I'm not exactly sure what field of medicine I'll be specializing in, but I've recently made a few realizations about what I'd like my career to look like: I want to work with populations that need proper medical care the most. In this country and all over the world, people die every day of injuries or disease that could be easily treated with proper access to healthcare. I want to do my part to reduce the number of those deaths. I want to work with a number of diverse populations. I believe working with people in other countries as well as those at home will provide a wide array of experiences that will make me a better physician. Finally, I want to be inspiring and teaching others. Solving the many current issues of global health is a battle of attrition and we need to recruit the next generation if we hope to find lasting solutions.

Shaquille Sinclair (CAS '17)

What did you study at NYU?

I studied Language and Mind with minors in CAMS and Creative Writing.

What is your favorite memory of your time at NYU?


My favorite memory was right at the end - when I asked out my girlfriend. It was right at the end of the year, and tied up my four years with more sweet than bitter.

What are your plans for the upcoming year?

I'll be completing the Urban Fellows program, a nine-month fellowship with the City Government of New York, working in one of its agencies on policy formation and implementation. The UF program was of particular interest because of how little I understand public policy! There are a number of passions I have concerning justice, for children, the homeless, and the imprisoned. I've done a fair amount of research on these, but primarily at a federal level, so I'm hoping my experience in municipal government will give me a picture of the work these agencies do to mitigate these issues, and the different institutions they come alongside in these efforts.

What advice do you wish you had been given when you were an incoming NYU student?

Find genuine community. Seek people who affirm you and genuinely care to hear your voice, and also people who are willing and able to rebuke you with wisdom and love.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Maybe back in school! I'm itching for a meal plan again... In honesty, I would love to be working in either justice work for children, prisoners or the homeless, ministry work, professional fiction writing, or something combining all of these!


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