Megan Connors is a senior at Temple University pursuing a B.S. in Biology. She was first drawn to STEM at a young age by doing small experiments such as homemade volcanoes. This turned into an interest in biology once she entered high school due to the intricacies of the many systems of the human body. Coming to Temple, Megan originally wanted to pursue a career in medicine, but quickly got involved in research. She worked in a molecular biology lab researching prostate cancer. Her project involved studying the cell cycle effects of deregulating a tumor suppressor protein. The main things she enjoys about research is how it is a creative approach to science and its ability to constantly discover new things. Research was how she was able to apply what she learned in class to real world scenarios.
After getting her Bachelor’s, Megan is planning on taking a gap year before applying to medical school. She plans on working as a lab technician or participating in clinical research to expand on her existing scientific knowledge. She currently volunteers in Philadelphia with Back On My Feet, a nonprofit that uses running to help combat homelessness. Once a week she runs with members of a homeless shelter. If they meet an attendance requirement, they can progress to job development and housing placement. As a doctor, Megan wants to continue participating in community outreach, especially in places where there might be health disparities due to factors such as income.
Growing up, Megan had a hard time finding women role models in STEM. She credits her cousin Lindsay as early source of inspiration; Lindsay studied neuroscience before becoming an eye doctor. Temple was where she finally saw other women in science; there was one other female undergrad and multiple female grad students in her lab. One of the Ph.D. students in her lab acted as a mentor and coached her through lab techniques. Later on Megan saw her present her own work at conferences and win awards. Seeing her mentor succeed was very encouraging. Megan’s advice to younger students is to always pursue your passion and that anything is possible if it interests you.