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Sara Rigney, MS

Sara Rigney Image

I was drawn to the Master’s in Biological Sciences program by the unique emphasis they put on hands on research experience, something I was lacking after completing my undergraduate degree. Having now successfully completed the program I can say that my decision to join was the best choice I could have possibly made for both my career advancement and my personal growth as a scientist. During my time in the program I had the great opportunity to complete my thesis work and be mentored by a scientist in the Translational Biology group of the Research and Drug Discovery department at BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc, a company focused on developing treatments for rare and often overlooked diseases. During this time I had the opportunity to experience firsthand how pharmaceutical research is conducted in addition to being constantly challenged to create my own questions and develop my own project. My project focused on developing quantitative image analysis protocols to measure the structural effects disease has on the cellular components of the blood brain barrier. In doing so I learned several new laboratory skills and techniques I most likely would not have been exposed to otherwise, such as immunohistochemistry, microscopy, 3D image analysis, and even a bit of computer programming. In addition to the hands on laboratory experience, during my time in the MS Biological Sciences program I also gained invaluable experience in critical thinking, problem solving, data interpretation, and presentation skills all of which have helped make me into a well-rounded and experienced scientist.

Since graduating I have remained working in Translation Biology at BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. as a research associate. Additionally my time as a master’s student has encourage me to continue my scientific education even further and I am currently pursuing admission into a PhD program in the biomedical science field with the full support of my former mentor and now boss.

 

Update: Sara is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Biology at Northwestern University.