Monday, June 1, 2015

Precious Gem: Tommy Tran

Meet Tommy Tran. This Neurobiology and Physiology major from Rockville, Maryland is finishing his freshman year here at UMD. He is on the recently formed Team PHAGE, a Gemstone team that he coauthored. Team PHAGE is looking to use bacteriophages to develop a disinfectant for use in hospitals and farms. This would be an important alternative to antibiotics because it can still attack antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and doesn’t promote their resistance. He explained that as the project co-author he wasn’t the one to come up with the idea for Team PHAGE, but he did a lot of the research in order to write the literature review section of the proposal. Tommy is premed, and will doubtlessly use what he has learned in his chemistry and biology classes to be an asset to his team. I asked him about when he knew he wanted to be a doctor, and he said at one point he realized he enjoyed his science classes the most, and it was the right fit. His favorite class this year was organic chemistry because figuring out the problems is like a “puzzle”.

Tommy is busy outside of the classroom as well. He is on the club tennis team, and his weeks are filled with practices and tournaments. The team hasn’t gotten to nationals yet, so one of Tommy’s goals is to help them on this quest. This summer, Tommy will be working as a tennis instructor, developing juniors (kids ages 5-15) in tennis. In addition, he’ll be doing an internship at an orthopedic center shadowing a doctor in Rockville and taking a sociology course online. Come late August, he’ll be a camp leader for Gems Camp. He says he’s most looking forward to comparing himself as a freshman to the class of 2019. I asked him about his experience going to Gems Camp and coming to Gemstone the first semester. He says he was skeptical; coming from Gonzaga College High School, an all boys private school, he was used to knowing everyone in his grade very well. Now looking back at the end of the year, Tommy can safely say he found a new home in Ellicott Hall. 

- 1 June, 2015 - Elliot Frank

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