Alumni News

December 18, 2017 at 2:18 pm

Happy Beginnings | Kim Kraus Broadens Grad School Plans to Include Medicine and Research

Kim Kraus and her research mentor Dr. Robert Colvin during a recent visit to the Athens campus. In this photo, the two are standing and facing the camera.

Kim Kraus and her research mentor Dr. Robert Colvin during a recent visit to the Athens campus.


Editor’s Note: The Happy Beginnings series features recent College of Arts & Sciences graduates who are getting started in careers, graduate school and service.

Recently Kim Kraus ’16 HTC returned to Ohio University to visit her research mentor in Biological Sciences, Dr. Robert Colvin.

Kraus’ interest in research and medicine began as a general curiosity about the complexity and elegance of the human body, especially the brain. She was initially set on pursuing a Ph.D. after graduation, based on her passion for research that she discovered while working in Colvin’s lab. But she soon realized through volunteer work that she also had a passion for teaching and caring for others.

She decided to pursue a joint M.D./Ph.D. degree, also known as a medical scientist training program. As a physician scientist, not only will she be able to provide care to people in need, but she also will allow patients to directly inform her research. This helps her better translate research to clinical practice and provide patients with advanced evidence-based medical care.

Kraus relates how OHIO encouraged her to direct her own education, fostering her internal drive to seek out knowledge while providing an environment of support and guidance. She got to know many professors on a personal level in the upper-level biological science and neuroscience classes and was able to get involved in research the summer after her freshman year, which is difficult to do at other universities. She was awarded several grants through the university, which helped fund her research and travels to conferences. This gave her a solid foundation of knowledge that has carried over into her post-graduate work in the M.D./Ph.D. program at the University of Cincinnati.

Kraus describes OHIO as not merely an institution that provides a high-quality education and opportunities to collaborate at conferences, but also a community that exposes one to different people and challenges the way you think about yourself and others. She learned the importance of work-life balance and believes this has made her a better student physician scientist, and she continues to challenge herself while providing care to a diverse population of patients and collaborating with scientists in different fields of research.

Currently, Kraus is in her second year of the eight-year Medical Scientist Training Program at UC. The first two years of the program are the pre-clinical lecture years of medical school. After she takes the Step 1 USMLE board examination at the end of the two years, she begins her Ph.D. training in the neuroscience graduate program at UC. She will be joining the lab of Dr. Steve Danzer at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, working on a project that is focused on elucidating the relationship between glucocorticoid receptor signaling, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysregulation and epileptogenesis in temporal lobe epilepsy. She looks forward to completing her Ph.D. and returning to medical school for the last two years of her medical training followed by a residency to complete her training as a physician scientist.

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