Friday, September 21, 2007

'Little Rooms, Big Dreams'

Patient advocate Don Reed has written an interesting mini-profile of Stanford stem cell researcher Renee Reijo-Pera, chronicling her journey from secretarial chores and "not-so-good" college grades to her current position.

Reijo-Pera (see photo) was one of six children and the first in her family to graduate from college, Reed reported on his blog, She studied business administration in college until her junior year, when she switched to sciences following an exposure to a human biology course aimed at non-science majors.

She cited the influence of a particular instructor as providing the impetus, which makes one wonder about the emphasis on research to the neglect of teaching at many universities. All it takes is a handful of folks like Reijo-Pera to make a bigger difference than a wheelbarrow of research papers involving relative trivia, although I may be overstating the case a bit.

Reed was leaving his interview with Reijo-Pera when he commented on the small size of the rooms in her research complex.

"Little rooms, big dreams," she replied.

You can find Reed's piece at Look for the Sept. 21 item in the archives if it doesn't pop up immediately.

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