How does a biomedical sciences student with interests in clinical research go on to intern in the United States Senate? Like many other students, my undergraduate career followed a traditional path toward higher education. I kept my grades up, participated in extracurriculars, and was involved in a few clubs on campus. However, thanks to friends, mentors and the internet, it was clear that a career in STEM presented an immense number of other amazing opportunities. Looking into these opportunities, research quickly grabbed my attention. A professor was the first to introduce me to research and he motivated me to explore summer research opportunities. Looking back, I am grateful he did,...
Did you know that since 2004, close to 1,500 children have died in the United States due to flu? Year after year, I hear people say “Oh, it’s just the flu” or “I’m healthy, I don’t need a flu shot.” And yet, we continue to lose innocent lives, many of whom are healthy children and adults, to this vaccine-preventable disease. I know first-hand because I lost my 5-year-old, healthy son, Joseph, to the flu. And now I’m Chief Operating Officer of Families Fighting Flu (FFF), an organization dedicated to educating people about the seriousness of influenza and the importance of annual vaccination for everyone 6 months and older, per the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and...
Like many aspiring researchers, I have long felt science and technology are deserving of strong advocacy. For me, a passion for doing science and understanding its place in society began developing during my time as an undergraduate at a liberal arts university. In a biophysics course, our first assignment was to write about the history and social repercussions of the HIV/AIDS epidemic based on scientific review articles. That assignment helped me connect a liberal arts education to science, demonstrating that the lasting impact of research stretches beyond the lab. Early in graduate school, I discovered Catalysts for Science Policy (CaSP), founded at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in...
World AIDS day is observed on December 1 every year to help raise awareness, commemorate those who have died from the virus, and encourage advocates and policymakers to increase their efforts in fighting the epidemic and supporting those whose lives have been impacted by it. This year, the World AIDS day theme is “Increasing Impact through Transparency, Accountability, and Partnerships.” Although the U.S. government is at the forefront of tackling the HIV/AIDS epidemic, its success depends on partnerships with other governments, the private sector, philanthropic organizations, multilateral institutions, and patient advocates. As a result of these strong partnerships, 19.5 million people...

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Luck shouldn't play a role in why I'm alive.
Laurie MacCaskill, a seven-year pancreatic cancer survivor