Prospective Students

Kelvin Liao

Liao crpdMajor: Molecular Biology and Biochemistry; Minor: Computer Science


How did you decide on your major?

I chose the MBB major after beginning research in a Dr. Richard Padgett’s lab at the Waksman Institute during the spring of my freshman year. I was immediately drawn to intricacies of the TGF-β signaling pathways studied in the lab and the cause-and-effect relationships that translate the molecular interactions in the pathway into macro-level phenotypes.

What is it about your chosen field (and the MBB department) that appeals to you?

Emphasis on undergraduate research involvement is one of the MBB department’s greatest strengths. In addition to encouraging and supporting its students in their research undertakings, the Department also does a wonderful job of weaving research into its courses to improve students’ research literacy as well as appreciation for the broader reaching implications of scientific research as a whole.

Do you have a favorite class/professor within your major?

The Biology of Aging Seminar taught by Dr. Monica Driscoll is a perfect example of the points addressed above. Dr. Driscoll highlights many recent and exciting findings in aging research during our sessions and demonstrates how they are relevant to our own health. Aside from the fantastic course material, Dr. Driscoll herself is charismatic during lectures and clearly interested in the science she shares with us. The class itself only has about 20 students and provides a great setting to discuss science, make friends, and have fun.

What are your favorite academic experiences outside of your major?

Outside of my course and lab work, one of my most memorable and favorite academic experiences at Rutgers has been taking an Honors Seminar on global wealth inequality. The course not only gave me new perspectives on many combatable inequalities I had previously accepted as realities, but also showed me how they came to be and how they continue to persist. In particular, I was very interested to learn how inequalities in wealth and education are major contributors to health disparities across in the United States. In medical school, I hope to continue deepening my understandings of these health disparities so that I may work toward ensuring more equal health outcomes for patients across the country.

What are your other Rutgers activities?

I was previously President and Founder of the Rutgers New Brunswick chapter of Be Jersey Strong, a non-profit organization that connects the uninsured with the necessary resources to assist them in finding medical coverage. I am also a Head Teaching Intern for the Chemistry Department and Peer Instructor for the Aresty Research Center. And for the past three years, I have served Piscataway as an EMT at the local River Road Rescue Squad. In my free time, I play intramural and pick-up soccer to relax and have fun.

What are your plans following graduation?

Immediately following graduation, I will be vacationing in Asia with friends and family to relax and catch up before beginning medical school in the Fall.