Megan McCurry

G4 in Sloan Devlin’s lab at Harvard Medical School

Hi everyone! I’m a current G4 PhD student in Sloan Devlin’s lab at Harvard Medical School (HMS). My thesis project revolves around gut bacterial metabolism of endogenous steroid hormones and sterols and how these metabolites affect human health. My undergraduate research was in experimental evolution to antibiotic resistance to determine the mechanism of action of novel antibiotics, and since joining Sloan’s lab I have switched gears toward commensal microbes. This research project aligns with my broad interest in studying chemistry in terms of microbes and its impact on human health and disease. Outside of lab, I’m a member of the Longwood Chorus and I also enjoy cooking, trying new restaurants, and bouldering at Rock Spot in South Boston. I also have a mission to find the best margarita in Boston before I graduate.

I chose the Chem Bio program for several reasons. First, I thought that the students in the Chem Bio program to be the happiest of all the students I met over the interview circuit. I was also excited by how Chem Bio students can rotate at any of the Harvard-affiliated labs across Boston and Cambridge, as long as the research topic is related to chemistry and biology. Because I had so many options for rotations labs, I rotated in labs across the city, including at the main campus, at Mass General Hospital (MGH), and at HMS. Because we aren’t limited to a specific department, we have a lot of freedom in terms of rotations and classes. I also appreciated the cohesive culture of the Chem Bio program, and cohorts from each year generally stick together and support each other throughout grad school. For example, as G1s, my cohort took most of our classes together, and as G2s, we supported each other through our preliminary qualifying exams (PQEs) by attending each other’s practice talks. And of course, Boston is a fantastic city for both science and life (and since science = life then you’re totally set!). There is always something to do everyday, whether it’s going to a seminar or symposium or enjoying trivia at a brewery or picnicking on the Esplanade.