Immersive Lab Experience Inspires Student-Researcher to Become a Physician-Scientist

Undergraduate experience researching cancer, Alzheimer’s, and even COVID-19 treatment options revealed Juliette DiFlumeri’s ‘21 passion for neuroscience and laid the groundwork to pursue a dual MD/PhD degree.

Female student in a lab coat with goggles on conducting research
Juliette DiFlumeri
Class of 2021
Undergraduate
|
Chemical engineering, pre-med
  • School of Engineering
Career Plan: MD/PhD

Juliette DiFlumeri took advantage of the robust faculty-student research opportunities at Widener early in her undergraduate career. The chemical engineering/pre-med pathway graduate contributed to interdisciplinary investigations both within her major and beyond the engineering lab.

Widener helped me to gain a deeper appreciation for science, fall in love with the brain, and to learn what it was like to work in a high-powered, fast-moving academic setting. — Juliette DiFlumeri '21

A Diverse Research Portfolio

Juliette joined the NanoBio Lab as a student-researcher working alongside Lab Director and Professor Sachin Patil to investigate some of the world’s leading diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.

 

“Dr. Patil gave us responsibilities and had us working on projects that were multidisciplinary and helped me to develop a unique set of skill tools that I am continuously finding useful at work.”

 

The ability to work on different research topics gave Juliette an introduction to a variety of specialties and taught her how to thrive in a clinical team setting.

 

“Being involved as an undergrad helped me to learn how to multi-task better and to reinforce what I was learning in the classroom and combine that with the importance of mentoring and sharing knowledge,” Juliette said.

Opening Doors Through Scholarship

Juliette presented her findings at various academic conferences. Her work’s relevance and high caliber earned recognition at the university’s Summer Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Symposium and brought her to Washington D.C.’s Posters on the Hill event. In her junior year she was selected for the competitive SUPERS Program at the Perlman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. 

 

“Opportunities like being accepted into SUPERS opened new doors for me and helped me to explore my future career options, but I think a big part of earning these achievements is that Widener gave me the opportunity to actually pursue them,” Juliette added.

A Future in Neuroscience

Juliette currently works at McLean Hospital in Boston where she partners with some of the country’s top pharmacologists on neurochemistry research. She plans to pursue a dual MD/PhD degree with a focus on pharmacology, medicinal chemistry, and psychiatry or neurology.

 

Her current role, combined with her diverse research experience at Widener, create a solid foundation for her professional pursuits.

 

“I am able to apply both my chemistry/engineering background with my love of neuroscience that began to blossom at Widener,” said Juliette. 

Career Plan: MD/PhD

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