Alumni Spotlight: Natalie Sroda, Pharmacology
One graduate student explains why MCPHS was the perfect fit.
“Research is never over; there is always another question that can be asked and answered,” says Natalie Sroda. But when it came time to ask herself which graduate program she wanted to attend to pursue her Master of Science in Pharmacology, this Goffstown, NH native had just one answer: MCPHS.
From our legacy of global leadership in health sciences to our state of the art labs to our expert (yet approachable!) faculty, there are many reasons students choose to pursue graduate degrees at MCPHS.
Natalie, a Phi Kappa Phi inductee, kindly shared some of hers with us.
What are some of the main reasons you chose MCPHS?
MCPHS has an excellent reputation for its Pharmaceutical Sciences programs. The smaller size of the graduate program was also something I was looking for. I liked how there were only a few people per Lab PI.
Why made you focus on pharmacology?
I was considering getting a PharmD but after researching pharmacology I decided that it was a better fit for me. I really enjoyed learning how different drugs interact with the body and how they can be manipulated. This caused me to lean toward the research end, instead of working at a pharmacy.
Can you tell us a little about program?
The pharmacology program teaches students to become more independent learners as well as how to reiterate their new knowledge in an organized fashion. In most of the classes students must give at least one presentation. This prepares you for both academia and the industry because it makes you more comfortable with speaking in front of people.
The laboratory aspect of this program teaches students to become more independent in the lab as well. The PI works with students to perfect techniques – teaching how to ask scientific questions and then coming up with a research plan to answer said questions.
How was working in a lab setting fulfilling?
I loved working in the lab. It is a great feeling when your hard work pays off and your results answer your hypothesis.
Anything else you found unique about MCPHS?
The location of MCPHS sets it apart because Boston is one of the biotechnology capitals of the world. I wanted to take advantage of connections I could make there.
What type of students would thrive in your program?
Very driven students would do well in this program. And because research does not always work, it can be discouraging. It helps if students are very self-motivated.
What is the most valuable aspect of your MCPHS education?
The most valuable aspect was the lab work that I did. I learned a lot of techniques that I might not have been able to acquire at other schools. I was able to work with many different professors, obtaining many different lab skills along the way.
How does MCPHS help jump start careers in Pharmacology?
All of the lab techniques that I learned at MCPHS allowed me to be more marketable to companies. I was able to acquire and perfect many different lab skills that I feel I would not have had the opportunity to learn at another university.
In our Master of Science in Pharmacology program, offered on the Boston, MA and Worcester, MA campuses, students work alongside experts to learn how to fully research the pharmacological actions of synthetic and naturally occurring drugs, leading to improved drug design.