John P McGinnis
Residency: Neurosurgery at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas June 2019 - Present.
I grew up in Freeport, IL, about two hours west of Chicago. After high school, I followed my girlfriend to Luther College, where I majored in biology and minored in psychology. Two professors (Drs. Carlson and Bishop) were kind enough to involve me in their respective research programs, physiology and evolutionary psychology. I worked on a rat model of hypertension, which involved surgically implanting probes into their abdominal aorta--great work for an undergrad. I also worked on an evolutionary psychology study looking at relationships between extended family members, and because of that was able to go to an HBES conference in Japan. While these may sound pretty intense, you should know that I never worked in a major 'wet lab', so I came in feeling pretty behind on my research experience--which is to say that if you feel similarly behind, but still really think you would thrive in this kind of program, go for it. Beyond biology and psychology, some of my favorite college classes were in philosophy and political science, and I'll always remember the classical and romantic music history courses I sat in on--Dr. Griesheimer was incredible.
During the summer between my junior and senior years, I was a Stowers Summer Scholar at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research here in Kansas City, which is where I first met some of the KUMC MD-PhD students. I joined the MD-PhD program immediately after undergrad, and this time my wife followed me to Kansas City. I finished my Ph.D. in 2017, working on the molecular mechanisms of long-term memory in Dr. Kausik Si's lab. (If you're looking for neuroscience, memory, or molecular neuroscience project, I highly recommend rotating in Kausik's lab. I learned so much from him and his lab and had way more fun than I ever expected to have in grad school.
I had an amazing time in the program and in Kansas City generally. When I have time outside of classes, the lab, or the hospital, I'm probably reading a magazine or book--you may be able to find me somewhere on Twitter. If you have any questions about any aspect of the program, please don't hesitate to email me.
Mentor: Kausik Si, Ph.D., Stowers Institute for Medical Research - University of Kansas Medical Center, Molecular & Integrative Physiology.