Nicole Pershing ’02
“As an M.D./Ph.D. student at Duke, the road I have taken has been long, and some might say crazy, but I feel lucky to be here. The support of family, friends, and teachers that started with my Rowland Hall education makes me excited to start each day with the hope of discovering something new or helping a patient through a difficult time.
From my earliest years in Lower School, I remember learning about the magic of the world around me through both experiential and classroom learning. In high school, Mr. Hayes’ biology class sparked what would become my academic passion. The intensity of his interest in the subject was contagious. From the time we spent learning about the adaptive attributes of the flora and fauna of the Utah "The belief that I could tackle challenges helped me pursue my interests, even when obstacles made the road to accomplishing my goals unclear."desert in southern Utah to pneumonic songs to remember the Krebs cycle, his teaching encouraged my curiosity in the biological world to blossom.
As strong as my science classes were, equally important were lessons I learned in more subtle ways. While learning French in Mr. Wortham’s class, I also garnered a respect for humanity and the integrity of the individual that informed my decision to go to medical school. The belief that I could tackle challenges helped me pursue my interests, even when obstacles made the road to accomplishing my goals unclear. The sense of community with my teachers, coaches, and teammates, and the friendships I carried throughout my tenure at Rowland Hall allowed me the confidence to explore and find what best suited me.”
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology, bachelor’s degree, 2006
- Duke Medical Scientist Training Program, M.D./Ph.D. program
- Awards/Publications: Fitzgerald Poster Award, rare codons regulate KRas oncogenesis (2011); Current Biology (2013) vol. 23 (1) pp. 70-5, with Benjamin L. Lampson, Joseph A. Prinz, Joshua R. Lacsina, William F. Marzluff, Christopher V. Nicchitta, David M. MacAlpine, Christopher M. Counter, RALA and RALBP1 regulate mitochondrial fission at mitosis; Natural Cell Biology (2011) vol. 13 (9) pp. 1108-15, with David F. Kashatus, Kian-Huat Lim, Donita C. Brady, Adrienne D. Cox, Christopher M. Counter.