Throughout residency I relied heavily on the RCP for mentorship, as well as support in protecting time to pursue my research interests. As a PGY1, this allowed me to meet with researchers across the many campuses with affiliations to our program. As a PGY2, I spent 7 weeks doing a research rotation in the lab of a leading molecular neuroscientist learning techniques that could be applied to future projects. Finally, as a PGY3 and PGY4, the RCP allowed me to dedicate the majority of my time (50% and 75%, respectively) toward my research project, establishing collaborations and generating preliminary data to use in my K-award application. During my PGY4 year, I was also able to serve as the chief of the McLean Clinical Evaluation Center, and received outside funding for my research from the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Genetics. Without the RCP I would be significantly delayed in moving forward with my research career, and have found the experience both rewarding and invaluable.
After residency I plan to work full-time as a research fellow at MGH and the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Genetics. My research focuses on the cellular and biochemical mechanisms underlying SNPs linked to schizophrenia through large-scale genomic analyses of disease (GWAS). By analyzing biological samples from patients with Schizophrenia, we hope to identify biomarkers for disease or endophenotypes/subpopulations of patients based on genotype with the goal of eventually developing novel tests or treatments for this disorder. I will continue to be supported by Stanley Center Psychiatric Genetics and Neuroscience Fellowship, as well as the Translational Neuroscience Training for Clinicians T32 Fellowship at MGH. I am currently in the process of applying for independent funding from the NIMH to launch me closer towards the ultimate goal of being an independent academic psychiatrist researching the molecular basis of psychiatric illness.