Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
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Fanny Kippelen

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Fanny KippelenI graduated from the Schreyer Honors College in December 2007 with a major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and a minor in Microbiology. I started college thinking that I wanted to eventually go to medical school, but I did not want to major in premed just in case I changed my mind.

I chose to major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology because I was interested in the subject and knew that the classes would challenge me and provide me with a solid education.

I feel that the quality of my education was excellent. I took most of my BMB courses as honors classes and therefore, they were smaller and provided a good learning environment. My professors were all very knowledgeable and dedicated to teaching. The lab courses in BMB and Microbiology were also well taught and a key part of my scientific education.

Being at a large school like Penn state was wonderful because there were many opportunities for research compared to a smaller school with limited resources and research was an important component of my medical school application.

I worked in the lab of Dr. Postle and my experience was invaluable. I not only learned important basic lab techniques, but also how to think like a researcher, as the process of research is universal. My work was the topic of my senior thesis.

I did apply to medical school and was accepted at the University of Pittsburgh, where I am about to complete my fourth and final year. I am currently applying for residence in pediatrics.

My BMB major prepared me well for the MCATs, as well as for the hardships of the first year of medical school, of which Biochemistry is one of the hardest classes. I also think having chosen a more difficult major helped me stand out against other applicants.

My research experience was a very important part of my medical school application and a topic discussed at every medical school interview. Additionally, it was helpful to have that background since my medical school requires students to do research to complete a scholarly project. Research is also an important part of most residency programs.