Elijah Lohman | Molecular Genetic Technology Class of 2015
The road that led Elijah Lohman to The University of Texas MD Anderson’s School of Health Professions (SHP) had many twists and turns. He dabbled in everything from journalism to psychology to EMS training before finding his niche in molecular genetic technology (MGT). MGT is the microscopic study of human genetic material. Technologists examine the smallest nucleotide changes in a person’s DNA and RNA, and how various tissues, diseases and ailments exhibit changes.
“We’re looking for the small pieces that come together to make those large changes… the dust that causes the avalanche,” explains the 25-year-old.
SHP offers one- and two-year programs in MGT. Juniors have a wide variety of summer research options in and around the Houston area. All students participate in summer clinical rotations at the conclusion of their senior year coursework at prestigious institutions such as Yale, Harvard and Duke, or locally at renowned institutions like MD Anderson and Texas Children’s Hospital.
Eli spent last summer at the University of Texas Medical Branch where he researched tumor progression in hepatocellular carcinoma. The principle investigator allowed him to be very hands-on by attending weekly tumor board meetings to participate and ask questions of the physicians.
“We learn real-world application, take knowledge and use it in a practical and realistic kind of way.”
When he’s not pulling all-night study sessions, he loves to read, write, paint and play guitar. An animal lover (he owns three dogs and one cat), he spends his spare time volunteering at Neartown Animal Clinic, where his partner Dwayne is employed. Eli also enjoys hosting get-togethers for his classmates at his home in Humble.
“Everybody here feels like family—from our professors, to fellow students, to professors of other programs. We all look up to our professors and program directors and really respect them. It’s that kind of community.”
Eli plans to head straight into the job market following graduation, applying his skills in clinical molecular pathology or cancer research. He intends to pursue a doctoral degree and/or medical school in the future. He feels well-prepared for the high-demand field he’s about to enter.
“If you have an insecurity, it’s gone by the time you leave here because you know you leave here as the best of the best.”