Research and Rehearse

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After combining his passion for science and music to earn his undergraduate degree in three years at Dominican, then spending the next eight months in the Biologics and Production department at BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc., Trevor Yeh ’19 is ramping up his thirst for research.

Trevor has been accepted at University of Michigan, where he would like to seek his doctorate through its Biophysics program.

“The department there is small and has a Dominican feel to it. That’s one of the reasons I chose it,” says Trevor, who is also considering UC Santa Cruz.

Trevor had his eyes set on medical school when he graduated from San Jose’s Independence High School, where he played in his school’s symphony orchestra for four years. He was accepted at larger state colleges, yet was attracted to Dominican because of its size and science reputation, plus the chance to study music.

“Dominican was a smaller school. It had the research opportunities that I wanted. It had the major that I wanted. It was a clear choice,” Trevor says. “I was interested in the research rotations. That caught my eye because it was something you could do to enhance the med school application. Plus, they had the music program here.”

While playing cello in Dominican’s Chamber Ensemble and participating in the Acapella Workshop and Dominican Winifred Baker Chorale through the School of Liberal Arts and Education, Trevor found his niche in the School of Health and Natural Sciences. He was introduced to Dr. Randall Hall, Dominican’s Dr. Lillian L.Y. Wang Endowed Professor in Chemistry. In Dr. Hall’s laboratory, Trevor, a member of Gamma Sigma Epsilon and Alpha Lambda Delta societies, studied theoretical and computational chemistry. He took 17 units each semester, including music courses, and suddenly found himself in a position to graduate last year.

“The faculty here are so accommodating and it was suggested I apply for the Biological Sciences masters program. It was something to do with my time before going for my PhD,” Trevor says. “It turned out to be the best solution.”

Trevor admits his Dominican experience was “kind of a blur” because of how fast he progressed. Yet it was everything he expected.

“I just enjoyed my time here. You have research. You learn a lot. You have these artistic outlets. It was overall well-rounded,” Trevor says. “I came to Dominican very shy. I couldn't to talk to anybody. I couldn’t really express my ideas. Then I got the tools here – especially during research because you have to be loud in research to get your ideas across. You have to not be afraid of being wrong. You will get push back. It was humbling.”

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