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Interview With 2015 MMSAP Recipient Taisha Doo

Taisha Doo is preparing to enter her third year as a medical student at the University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine. She studied under Dr. Jose López, MD and Junmei Chen, PhD at the Puget Sound Blood Center. Her research focused on the effect of Type 2B von Willebrand Disease ADAMTS13 Cleavage Products on Platelet Binding.

Was there a particular person or event that helped to peak your interest in pursuing hematology?

I became interested in Hematology research because of its importance in medical diagnosis, treatment and prevention of blood related diseases. I wanted to learn more about how to conduct a scientific investigation and how hematological studies could be used to develop new treatments.

Do you believe your personal background (who you are and where you are from) guides your research interests in anyway?

As a Native Hawaiian, I have a desire to give back to my community and to do work that may benefit others. Research in hematology is incredibly important for the advancement of scientific and medical knowledge. As a student of Kamehameha Schools in Hawaii, we learned an Olelo Ho'omaika'i, a Statement of Appreciation. We pledged to "develop our potential in all we do, strive to meet our responsibilities, and progress to the best of our ability," and I hoped to do that.

What surprised you most about your research project?

This was the first time I did research in a laboratory. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed running experiments and compiling data. It takes a lot of skill and attention to detail to yield results. I gained a better appreciation for research and the effort it takes to discover something new.

Is there anyone who inspires you to continue the work that you’re doing?

My grandmother who raised me had a hemorrhagic stroke and passed away just a few weeks before I started my summer research project. She was really proud that I was going to do something meaningful that could possibly help others one day. She is my inspiration for all that I do.