Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I'm Ken, another former Mr. Baker student. I took his AP biology class in 1999-2000, and I can honestly say that without Mr. Baker's class, there's a good chance I would not have ended up in the biosciences. You're lucky to be where you are! I remember drawing diagrams of helicase unzipping a coil of DNA, and that's still pretty much the model I have in my head.

After high school I went to the University of Washington, double-majored in Computer Science and Molecular Biology (and minored in math for good measure). At the same time, I shot pictures for UW's student newspaper, which is where I learned I needed a career where I was intimately involved with all types of people every single day. So I went to medical school! I'm in my fourth and final year at Columbia in New York, where I've confirmed that medicine is exactly the right career for me. And it opens doors to do anything from solely practicing clinical medicine, to answering the unanswered questions of life (and that's what biology is, anyway), to teaching next year's doctors.

There are many, many, many questions yet to be answered in medicine and in biology. Science gives us the tools to answer these questions. The most popular article on the New York Times' website right now is about a possible link between coffee drinking and lowered dementia risk (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/24/health/research/24coffee.html). The research is preliminary (they allude to why in the NYT article) and there is a lot of work to be done to either prove or disprove this hypothesis. Are you going to be the one that solves this? If you're really interested, you can dig up the actual article - an abstract, or summary, is at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19158424


Bulgan said...

Hello, welcome to the blog^^
I read the coffee article and it kind of says drinking coffee will help you later in life, by reducing the risk of having Alzheimer's Disease, so does that mean we all should start drinking coffee more often? I thought coffee was bad for your health, more particularly your heart. I would like to know more about your study experience because i am also interested in medicine too >.<

Inwoo said...

Wow Columbia??? =D

Mr. Baker said...

Thanks Ken! I can hardly wait until we can sit down to a plate of hobos! Thanks for sharing your path to medicine with us, it is very helpful. I look forward to future posts.

P.S. we are about to talk about unzipping the DNA molecule.

Ken said...

Bulgan: It's a great question! Let's make it more general. How much evidence do we need before being comfortable with a conclusion? Are some kinds of evidence better than others?