Program of the Month Q&A: Biology Alum Ashleigh Lamson ’03, ’05
It is rewarding to feel like you are making a positive difference in the lives of others through your daily work. Biology program alumna Ashleigh Lamson ’03, ’05, regulatory affairs specialist at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, says her education helped lead her to such a career. At Roswell Park, Lamson’s main function is to help complete regulatory submissions for clinical trials conducted at the organization, such as Investigational New Drug Applications (INDs) for submission to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This is a required step before Roswell can open a clinical trial involving an investigational agent.
Here, Lamson explains how her courses at Medaille sparked her passion for physiology and research, and how she uses the knowledge she gained from the biology program in her current work.
What led to your decision to enroll in the biology (BIO) program at Medaille?
As far back as I can remember, I have been interested in the biological sciences. I decided to enroll in the veterinary technology program, but after completing that, I wanted to pursue my bachelor’s degree in biology so that I could pursue graduate school. Since I had a great experience at Medaille, I wanted to continue on there for my BIO degree.
Describe your experience in the BIO program. What stands out?
I had a great experience in the BIO program. You could tell that the professors really loved teaching and interacting with their students. I learned a lot in my courses, but I also had fun learning and looked forward to going to class — which is likely why I have retained so much knowledge from my studies.
What types of things did you learn about yourself and your career goals from your studies?
I had no idea how much I loved physiology until I took advanced vertebrate physiology I and II. It was through those courses I discovered that I had a real passion for it, and decided I wanted to pursue a research-based career in physiology. The subject later became my focus for graduate school.
The faculty members were always willing to help guide me on my journey, and they offered support and direction when needed.
How do you use the knowledge and skills you learned in the BIO program at Medaille in your current work?
The BIO program has given me a solid foundation in the life sciences, which supported my future studies during my academic and professional careers. I still use much of what I learned from the biology program at Medaille in my current position, including genetics, cell bio and physiology.
What advice would you give to current BIO students or those trying to decide on a major?
Leave yourself open to different options. When you start college, it’s hard to know what you want to do for the rest of your life. Sometimes you find things along the way that interest you, or find career options that you didn’t even know existed. That is what makes the journey exciting.
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