Symone knew from a young age that she wanted to be a doctor. At Bowie State, she found her passion to learn about ways to improve health care access for underserved populations.
As a recipient of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) full-year scholarship, the Honors Program student and biology major is on her way to fulfilling her dream to become a reconstructive surgeon, primarily serving minority communities. “That is definitely one difference I can make: just being the doctor who’s willing to work with people who are typically not worked with, especially in an area where there is a health disparity,” she says.
She got one step closer to her goal in summer 2013 when she conducted research with faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago to determine if genetic factors make African-American males more at risk for prostate cancer. Her oral presentation of their findings earned her first place honors in the biological sciences category at the Emerging Researchers National Conference in Washington, D.C. in February 2014.
Symone has also worked with faculty at the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, N.Y. to
study the potentially harmful effects of treating premature infants with supplemental oxygen for respiratory illnesses. She got her start with collegiate research at Bowie State, working under for two years with Dr. Alan Anderson, assistant professor of chemistry.
Her academic achievements and leadership experience led her to be tapped by the White House to provide outreach for the historically Black colleges and universities initiative as a 2014 HBCU All-Star. She is also a 2013-14 Student Ambassador for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which provides scholarships and leadership opportunities for HBCU students.
After graduation, she will work as an NIH research fellow in summer 2014 to prepare for full-time NIH employment.