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2012 Update from Ramon Lee, our 2006 Scholarship Recipient


It has been quite some time since I have last written to PBKACA, so I hope you still remember me! I certainly remember your generous contributions that helped launch my academic career. The last update letter I wrote was in 2009 and many amazing things have happened over the past three years.

In 2010, I graduated from the Johns Hopkins University with a degree in neuroscience. I still vividly remember my graduation day when I reflected back on four years of undergraduate study. Those four years were immensely formative in my transition from a — at times — naive teenager to a dedicated young adult, looking to make an impact in society. My college years were hallmarked by a greater appreciation for science and health through courses and research experiences, and a developing affection for photography which cumulated in an 8-month long photodocumentary on a men’s homeless shelter in Baltimore. I am also very proud to say that I was inducted into the Johns Hopkins University chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

After graduating from Hopkins, I decided to take a gap-year and remain in Baltimore to conduct research at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. I had the opportunity to work full-time in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care under the guidance of Dr. Marek Mirski. The year was a wonderful experience that provided crucial knowledge in undergoing rigorous and challenging research that will prove invaluable in the future. I was about to assist in studies that ranged from improving intraoperative cerebral oxygen saturation during cardiac bypass surgeries to measuring the effectiveness of new biomarkers of brain injury in patients on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. During my gap-year, I was extremely fortunate to be surrounded by great mentors and colleagues that pushed and encouraged me in my endeavors.

And in the fall of 2011, I have the extraordinary privilege to say that I began my first year at Harvard Medical School. It has been nothing short of a dream this past year to be able to train as an aspiring physician at such an institution with tremendous faculty. And even though many stereotypes about medical school of fast-paced learning and long nights of studying are more or less true, I have been able to go through this medical school process with some of the brightest and most dedicated people I have met. I finished my first year at Harvard Medical School in June and now am currently conducting a summer research project in Hong Kong aiming to improve HIV and syphilis testing for marginalized populations.

That is a much abbreviated summary of the past couple of years, but I am glad that I am able to share it with you. I remember when I was applying for the scholarship back in 2006 and I voiced my desire to pursue medicine and dedicate my life to caring for others. It makes me so happy to see that I am still on the road to fulfilling that passion and that I am growing as a person along the way. As I am still currently financing for my education, I am continually appreciative for your support in the past. And more importantly, I am thankful that you recognized my potential and drive and took the chance of awarding me the first PBKACA College Scholarship.

Thank you once again.
Ramon Lee