2013 Hooding Student Profiles

Bailey Pope, M.D.

Bailey Pope eyes future role in medical education

Baily PopeBailey Pope was born and raised on a small farm outside of Pleasant Hill, Oregon.  Following high school she attended the University of Oregon where she earned dual degrees in Human Physiology and Psychology.  As an undergraduate, she enjoyed volunteering at the Relief Nursery and HIV alliance as well as playing community soccer.  After college, she moved to Portland, Oregon for medical school.  While at OHSU she has been active creating a medical student leadership elective. Bailey would like to pursue a career in academic medicine and is interested in medical education. She will do her residency in internal medicine at OHSU. 

“I have wanted to be a physician since I was 4 years old, however it wasn't until I came to medical school that I found my love for internal medicine. I also found my passion for medical education.  Education and the way in which students initially learn medicine is fascinating to me and one day I hope to help future physicians through this long, and complex path.”

Brian Garvey, M.D.

OHSU Swindells Scholar Brian Garvey hopes to deepen work with underserved Oregonians

Brian GarveySwindells scholar Brian Garvey was born and raised in Oregon, and graduated from Beaverton High School. Before starting medical school, Garvey worked at Harvard School of Public Health on a project that researched the cost effectiveness of AIDS and TB interventions in sub-Saharan Africa. Continuing his education at OHSU, he has uncovered an interest in rural and international medicine, which he has pursued through summer research in Colombia on health in conflict zones. He has also served as president of the OHSU School of Medicine Senate and co-chair of the Associated Students for the Underserved. He will pursue his residency in Family and Preventive Medicine at OHSU.

"I came to medicine through an interest in political economy, anthropology, and social justice. After exploring these areas through other venues, I learned that the most revolutionary work was being done by physicians." His hope for the future is to deepen his work with the underserved in Oregon, and to inspire more practitioners to follow suit.

Jenna Emerson, M.D.

Experiences in Guatemala strengthen Jenna Emerson's commitment to human health

Jenna Emerson

Jenna Emerson began her studies at OHSU with a clear perspective on the health care needs of rural populations in Oregon as well as the extreme environment of poverty stricken countries like Guatemala, where she was a health care aide for a year after college. The daughter of the only bovine veterinarian in southern Tillamook County, Jenna worked in a veterinary clinic in college. But she transferred her focus to human health when she became aware of the plight of an increasing number of immigrant agricultural workers in Tillamook County. That commitment deepened in Guatemala where she was inspired by cases of advanced cervical cancer and decided to make women’s health issues in the developing world a significant part of her career. Jenna will pursue obstetrics-gynecology at the Brown University Womens & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island.

“I really loved every rotation in medical school, and OBGYN is one of the very few fields that incorporates everything in medicine. I look forward to a career where I will have a life-long relationship with my patients, a mix of high- and low-acuity complex problems and both medical and surgical skills.”

Jessica Wester, M.D. and Jacob Wester, M.D.

A couples match: Jessica Wester (Fowler) and Jacob Wester, off to UCLA and a wedding

Jessica Fowler and Jacob Wester

Jessica and Jacob Wester are both native Oregonians who met while attending Oregon State University. During their undergrad studies, the couple participated in a pediatric health internship in Argentina together. They were both accepted to OHSU's School of Medicine and in 2013, participated in the "couples match" of the National Resident Matching Program – all while planning a wedding this spring! Jessica will pursue obstetrics-gynecology and Jacob otolaryngology, head and neck surgery at UCLA Medical Center. After their residency programs are complete, Jessica and Jacob hope to practice in Oregon.

“It’s been a blessing to have someone right there with you throughout it all who knows exactly what type of stress you are under. It's that extra little bit of motivation to keep you studying at night or all weekend long when you have your significant other right there with you.”

Katy Van Hook, Ph.D.

ARCS scholar Katy Van Hook plans career in science and education

Katy Van HookThe daughter of two educators, Katy Van Hook grew up understanding the value of continued education and quickly decided that studying science would lead to her ideal career. She fostered her passion for science and discovery by doing basic research at Carroll College and Indiana University before joining the OHSU Program for Molecular and Cellular Biosciences. At OHSU Katy quickly connected with the cancer research being done on campus and soon joined the lab of Dr. Charles Lopez. She excelled as the lead researcher on two collaborative projects aimed at understanding the regulation of an important tumor suppressor known as ASPP2. More specifically, Katy was an integral member of a team of scientists that discovered a new protein of unknown function named ΔN-ASPP2. Through her dissertation research Katy was able to demonstrate that ΔN-ASPP2 is a potentially dangerous tumor-promoting protein that is overexpressed in breast cancer. This discovery is significant as it will lead to more research aimed at developing novel and more effective cancer therapeutics. During her time at OHSU Katy was awarded several training grants, an ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) award based on her academic performance, and was an active member of the graduate student community, including writing for the OHSU StudentSpeak blog. A life-long learner, Katy is excited about her next chapter and will use her degree to advance her career in science and higher education through teaching.

"Being able to listen, watch, discuss, challenge, investigate, and touch science is one of the reasons I enjoy it so much. I am passionate about what I do and I am excited for the chance to communicate that to my students."

Kinrin Yamanaka, Ph.D.

2012 John A. Resko Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award recipient, Kinrin Yamanaka, continues work in cancer

Kinrin YamanakaKinrin Yamanaka is a PhD graduate in Lloyd-McCullough lab, where she has worked to discover new cancer therapies. She has always had an overarching desire to improve human health, stemming from her youth when she watched a family member suffer from severe side effects of medications. She attributes her graduate studies in the Lloyd laboratory for having helped her solidify her passion for research. As a scientist, she hopes to someday develop novel drugs that can ultimately change the lives of patients suffering from diseases. Kinrin has published eight papers since joining OHSU and was the recipient of John A. Resko Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award in 2012. She is currently a postdoctoral associate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, continuing her research in cancer. She has also become interested in education and is pursuing opportunities for teaching undergraduates seminars at MIT.

"I am hoping to be able to help students develop passion for biomedical research."

Kyle Ambert, Ph.D.

Up next for Kyle Ambert: Using Artificial Intelligence to further research on the brain

kyle52313After studying Biological Psychology, Biochemistry, and Behavioral Economics, Kyle landed in the Department of Biomedical Informatics, where his research synthesized all these areas, focusing on using artificial intelligence to create tools for neuroscientists. During his undergraduate studies at Wheaton College, he fell in love with research science during a summer neuroscience internship, thus saving him from his erstwhile career trajectory of constitutional law. The son of a math teacher, Kyle actively contributed to the educational development of his department, by serving as the student representative on the department curriculum committee, tutoring students, and co-creating a school of medicine course on using computer programming in biological sciences. Also an avid writer, Kyle was a founding contributor to the OHSU StudentSpeak blog. He is joining Intel Labs in Portland as a Research Scientist.

"There are two things that excite me more than discovery. One is seeing the light of discovery in the eyes of another: that moment when seemingly disparate pieces of information are synthesized into a new realization. I suppose the other is drawing stick figures."

Kyle Johnson, M.B.A.

Service to country leaves indelible mark on Kyle Johnson's desire to dedicate life to serving others

Kyle JohnsonCaptain Kyle Johnson served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2004 to 2010 where he deployed four times to include combat deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. The experience of combat and service to country left an indelible mark and Kyle decided that he would dedicate the rest of his life to serving others. His belief that basic access to healthcare is a right and not a privilege led him to the Joint MBA in Healthcare Management program at OHSU/PSU. Kyle believes that leadership is critical to achieving lasting change in the uncertain world of the American healthcare system, and that the skills he has learned as a MBA Student are making him a better leader. He is currently the Administrative Fellow for the St. Charles Health System in Bend, Oregon where he is helping improve healthcare at every level and across every function of the delivery system.
“I believe that a successful healthcare delivery system must simultaneously target the medical, behavioral, and social determinants of health. In order to do this we must be innovative and we must be bold. In the Marines, we upheld the time honored values of honor, courage and commitment. I am doing the same in healthcare.”

Molly McClain, M.D./M.P.H.

Passion for social justice, desire to provide medical care to underserved populations, motivates Molly McClain


Molly McClain had many lives before coming to OHSU, as a neuroscientist, a teacher and a volunteer in the Middle East. These early life experiences, combined with her passion for social justice, as well as a desire to provide medical care to underserved populations, led her to pursue a dual degree in medicine and public health. Molly is motivated by what she describes as a "disproportionately heaped injustice" placed on some world populations, in particular those with the "least power." Her travels in the Middle East helped her better understand the devastating effects of these power inequalities, which often serve as barriers to health care, and, she said, are "mostly preventable." Entering OHSU, she felt an MD/MPH would give her the best tools to diagnose and treat patients, while advocating for the underprivileged. She hopes to become a trauma surgeon, and to work on building trauma surgery capacity in the global south. Molly will pursue general surgery at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.

"A lot of things make me sad and scared. I've found the best way to make myself feel better is to know how things work and to fix them. Using surgery and public health as a way to mitigate inequalities is the best way I can think of to do that."

Richard Bruno, M.D.

Advocacy motivates Richard Bruno, takes him to the U.S. capital

Ricahrd BrunoWhen he was in his early teens, Richard Bruno volunteered at a summer camp for kids with health conditions. From that experience, he learned about the intricacies of living with disease and hoped to one day be in a role where he could help people along their path to healing and leading fulfilling lives. Richard believes that physicians have the imperative to advocate for the health of their patients outside the confines of the exam room. His advocacy interests have taken him to the nation’s capital to rally with fellow students for universal health care and inspired him to film uninsured patient stories to get them on to the public stage. Richard would be grateful for the opportunity to practice in Oregon. He will train in the joint family medicine and preventive medicine program at Johns Hopkins and Franklin Square Medical Center, while attaining a master of public health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

“The research on the social determinants of health tells us that only a small part of our patients’ health is actually influenced by the medical care we provide. Advocacy can happen on multiple levels, from the practice to community programs to population based policy.”

Sungjin Song, M.D.

Witnessing a patient get a second chance, inspires Sungjin Song

Sungjin SongSungjin Song has always believed in the importance of service, community and health but it wasn’t until a 2-month volunteer operation in rural Gambia that his personal experiences with doctors, nurses and patients affirmed his ambitions to pursue medicine. Sungjin is in the Army and has matched in otolaryngology/head and neck surgery at Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii.

“My pursuing otolaryngology stems from my love of vocal music. ENTs can preserve and restore voice in patients who have lost their voice due to cancer. After witnessing the rewarding feeling of helping to give a patient a second chance at life and a voice, I realized that I needed to pursue otolaryngology. I wanted to pursue my goal of giving others a voice and restoring their life's music.”