Spring 2009
Student Spotlight

synapse: University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

Sadeea Qureshi

Qureshi earned the Salvadorini Research Fellowship for two consecutive years. Photo courtesy Office of Admissions and Student Affairs.

A Passion for Patient Care and Research

Sadeea Qureshi of the Class of 2011 is in the M.D./Ph.D. dual-degree program. She earned her bachelor’s in chemistry from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2004.

What made you decide on a career in medicine?

Medicine provides a unique opportunity to apply basic scientific elements to a living, breathing system, while simultaneously making a difference and helping others.

In all my educational years, I realized that I enjoyed working with others and preferred a career where I was continuously learning.

It was through these realizations, a love of science, volunteering in clinics and shadowing physicians that I decided to pursue a career in medicine.

Why did you choose the University of Nevada School of Medicine?

The choice to attend the University of Nevada School of Medicine was a very natural one. As a native Nevadan, growing up in Reno and parts of rural Nevada, I have an appreciation for “small town” environments.

In some ways the school is like a small town, everyone knows you, classmates become very close, and the faculty and staff are amazing people who are easily approachable.

In addition, the School of Medicine harbors a vast research department comprising many disciplines with well known, expert investigators.

Also, the curriculum here involves early exposure to patients and clinical training, starting in the first year, which was an important aspect in my decision to attend this school.

Finally, I learned our students were just as competitive for residency positions as students from other schools.

What is your particular area of clinical or research interest?

My research consists of studying calcium dynamics in colon smooth muscle cells and determining if these mechanisms are impaired in inflammatory bowel disease.

I wanted to work on a project that involved human disease and translational research, which is essentially taking the results found at the laboratory bench and applying them to the patient’s bedside.

Since the disease affects millions of Americans and treatments are either nonspecific or involve invasive surgeries, the goal of my project is to identify specific protein targets that can provide a foundation in formulating novel, specific therapeutic targets.

Best experience thus far afforded to you by the School of Medicine?

One of the best experiences offered to me by the School of Medicine was during my second year preceptorship, working with a pediatrician, Dr. Steven Althoff of Pediatric Associates in Reno, who also holds the combined M.D./Ph.D. degrees.

I felt excited to work with a physician holding the M.D./Ph.D. combined degree since I was following the same educational path.

I observed aspects of his position where he integrated his lab knowledge with clinical experience to treat patients, stay up-to-date with literature, and adjust to different forms of medicine, including academic.

By the second week of preceptorship, I knew this experience would be one of the best I’d have in medicine. My initial anxiety turned into a feeling of purpose to treat these patients.

Finish this sentence: Professionally, in 10 years, I see myself…

…As a practicing physician, treating patients and performing clinical research. I can see myself being involved in academic medicine, eventually traveling abroad to offer health care to parts of the world that lack acceptable medical practices, and being a compassionate physician to all my patients.