Tell me about yourself and a bit of what you are doing at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio?
I am in the Translational Science Ph.D. program, which is a one of a kind, joint multi-institution program between The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, The University of Texas San Antonio, UT College of Pharmacy, and UT School of Public Health.
Translational scientists focus on “translating” lab discoveries into treatments that can be used in the clinic. After clinical implementation, translational scientists study the treatment’s cost effectiveness and, based upon this, make scientific recommendations for best medical practices and advocate for effective health
Many of our program’s trainees take a variety of business, health policy, statistics, and leadership courses, in addition to coursework in the hard sciences. While I take courses at a variety of campuses, UTHSCSA is my home institution and I do my cardiovascular disease research at Texas Biomedical Research Institute in the Department of Genetics.
Through my research, I hope to discover ways to use breath metabolites (or chemicals in the breath) to predict heart abnormalities and other chronic health problems through the Healthy Babies project.
What does being a presidential ambassador scholar mean to you?
Obviously, it is an honor to be selected as a presidential ambassador who will represent our Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
I am humbled by this opportunity to represent both my peers and the excellent research that is done here.
What this ambassadorship offers me is a chance to communicate with our local community to not only convey the virtues of our
school, but also to raise awareness of the importance of biomedical research in San Antonio, demonstrate how this research has a direct impact on everyone, and encourage science literacy.
Finally, the generous scholarship offers me a chance to start some research into the Healthy Babies project that I am so excited and hopeful about.
What are you most looking forward to as an ambassador?
I look forward to meeting my peers in other Health Science Center schools. This is because of my belief that some of the most effective research is inter-disciplinary.
Building relationships with professionals from diverse fields offers a greater promise of finding solutions to difficult problems. I also look forward to reaching outside of the Health Science Center and meeting the local community to find exciting new ways to engage everyone in science.
What are some of the events that you will be attending?
Among the events of which I am aware, I look forward to being a part of the upcoming UTHSCSA Voices event, which seeks to connect students from across our schools.
It will be a fun evening and I hope everyone can attend. I also look forward to attending the annual President’s Gala and other social events between our schools, including next year’s Science Fiesta.
Anything you want to say to the student body?
I want to once again reiterate just what an honor and pleasure it is to be able to represent you and your interests to our GSBS, our Health Science Center, the President, and our local community.
I hope to work with you all to create new possibilities and opportunities for us and to facilitate
relationships between our peers across campus and San Antonio community. Also a special thanks to Brian Stoveken the 2015 Presidential Ambassador.
To see a video of Ahsan with his fellow ambassadors: