Young Alum of the Month: Brianna Brun

Brianna Brun
Title and Company: 
Wellstone Medical Student Fellow, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
Charlotte, IA
Major and Graduation Date: 
Genetics, Minor in Psychology; May 2013
Major Job/Position Responsibilities: 

Currently, I spend most of my days conducting clinical research.  My projects involve describing clinical findings and compiling outcome measure data in a subset of patients with alpha dystroglycanopathies (a form of muscular dystrophy).  Every Tuesday, I see patients with Dr. Katherine Mathews in the neuromuscular clinic at UIHC to help learn about the variety of muscular dystrophies and multispecialty care needed to treat these individuals.  About once a month, we have outreach neuromuscular clinics where we travel to different parts of Iowa that lack access to neuromuscular clinics.  On Thursday and Friday mornings, I attend pathology case reviews where we discuss recent biopsy cases from UIHC and outside institutions.  The combination of these tasks helps me develop a well-rounded understanding of muscular dystrophy.

What you like most about your job/position: 

There is nothing I don’t love about my current fellowship.  I see wonderful patients every week and am amazed by how members of the team work together to provide great care for each patient and their family.  Pathology case reviews have taught me far more about muscle pathology and CNS tumors than I ever expected to know.  It has also been great to take a year off between my second and third year of medical school to re-spark my love of genetics and develop a love of neurology.

What advice would you give to current students: 

My advice to current students pursuing a career in Agriculture and Life Sciences is to embrace the extracurricular activities YOU are passionate about rather than the ones everybody does in your program.  When interviewing, it’s much easier for others to see your passion when you discuss extracurricular activities that you truly enjoyed.

Favorite ISU Class
My favorite course at Iowa State University was Analytical Genetics (GEN 410).  This was a course that required logical thinking.  It required students to have a firm grasp on genetics and be able to mold that information to fit the problem at hand.  GEN 410 was one of the courses that made me problem solve to find answers rather than memorize a correct response.