My Driving Plague

What are you really curious about? How has this curiosity affected your life? What happens to you when you experience this curiosity?

What do Walt Whitman, Howard Roark, and I have in common? Passion. Passion for life, for architecture, and for viruses. When I read The Cobra Event in eighth grade, I had a cinematic picture of viruses. I imagined there were millions of deadly virus particles swirling around me, unleashed by a mad-man bent on taking care of the population problem in his own grisly way. Despite my naivete, those microscopic not-even-life-forms had me spellbound. I rushed to the library to read every book Richard Preston had on the subject, and I was immediately hooked. With every book I read, the more questions I had: How can those tiny organisms that defy classification wreck such havoc on humans? Why are they so elusive, always able to escape our attempts to stop their destruction? Those questions plagued me (pun intended!) as I threw myself deeper and deeper into researching epidemics and disease. After my summer internship at a UGA lab specializing in the T. cruzi virus, I had done enough hands-on research to know that I wanted to continue exploring viral diseases in the future. Even after I learned all about viruses, I’m still as captivated by them as I was when I sped through The Cobra Event in eighth grade. When I think about viruses, I feel exhilerated and amazed. While I’m in awe of their tricky survival skills, those same adaptations are what frustrate my goals as a scientist: to eradicate viruses. However, I am dedicated to finding new methods of attack, hoping that one day my avid curiosity will pay off, and I will make a discovery that will contribute to human health and longevity.

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