Ten to Watch: Espoir Kyubwa, Ph.D.
M.D. Candidate, Medical Scientist Training Program at UC San Diego
Education: UC San Diego
2007 Amgen Scholar
Espoir Kyubwa moved from his native country of the Democratic Republic of Congo to the United States at a young age amidst civil war in Rwanda spilling into the country. Fast forward 20 years and he is now looking to help the country he left years earlier through his research. Espoir is helping his uncle Amede Kyubwa, who has been working in community-orientated mental health services in Sacramento over the last 15 years, to open a clinic in 2017 to help those in the country struggling with mental illness from the constant fighting that has occurred over the years. With a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering and as a current medical student, he hopes to one day better bridge the gap between science, technology and patient care, especially relating to global health.
More from Espoir Kyubwa, Ph.D.:
“What excites me the most about the future of science is the tremendous amount of interdisciplinary research that is starting to push the envelope of discovery. Scientists, engineers and physicians are coming together to develop technology that will push the boundaries of discovery and allow for the formulation of new hypotheses that are translatable to patient care.
As a physician-scientist, my work will focus on bridging the gap between basic science research and clinical medicine. I hope to combine my interdisciplinary background in bioengineering and medicine to conduct clinically relevant research that will aid in the development of diagnostic tools and novel therapy.
What inspires me the most is the vast amount of unknown that we have yet to discover about the human condition. I am also inspired every day by the patients I see who are hoping and waiting for the next advancement in drug discovery or a better understanding of their disease process. It is exhilarating to tell a patient that the research being conducted may lead to a therapeutic early enough to affect the course of their disease.
I think it was during my Amgen Scholars summer research that I fell in love with science and committed my life to the pursuit of a scientific career as a physician-scientist. It was truly invigorating to be part of a research community where the conversations during dinner were about what discoveries were made that day in the lab or what challenges we encountered. At that time, I already knew that I wanted to be a physician, but by the end of my Amgen Scholars summer, I gained a new passion for scientific research, which has led me down my current career path.”
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