Andrew McCoy-Department of Biological Sciences - Carnegie Mellon University

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Andrew McCoy

Senior, B.S in Biological Sciences/Neuroscience Track

“I love having opportunities to bring something non-biology to biology. For instance, I made a music video for my Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience course.”

While in high school, I had the opportunity to work in Dr. William LaFramboise’s laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), which inspired me to apply to college as a science major. In addition, my parents attended Carnegie Mellon University, so I was aware of the university’s reputation as an excellent research school. Therefore, I decided to apply to CMU and was very excited to receive the “fat letter” of acceptance.

After participating in a sleeping bag weekend, my decision to attend CMU was confirmed. The campus felt comfortable to me. I came away with the impression that CMU provided a very intellectual, yet well-rounded environment.

Since enrolling, I found that CMU does indeed facilitate a well-rounded and intellectual experience. In addition to my studies, I have been a member of the CMU Club Ice Hockey team since freshman year and I am currently the team’s captain.  I am a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity and a member of BioSAC, where I am currently co-writing and directing the Annual Murder Mystery Play with Joe Defazio. I also gained research experience as a rising sophomore by participating in the Summer Research Institute (SRI). During my sophomore year, I worked in Dr. Peter Berget’s laboratory where I designed fluorogen activating protein (FAP) protease biosensors.

After my sophomore year, I began shadowing Dr. Brad Dicianno at UPMC Mercy Hospital. I currently work with Dr. Dicianno on a project sponsored by the Center for Disease Control to develop a National Spina Bifida Registry which is a database of patient care and treatment that will eventually lead to improved standards of care and best practices for patients with spina bifida.

As a Biological Sciences major on a Neuroscience Track, I have had the opportunity to take a variety of non-biology specific courses to round out my education.

In the future, I hope to apply what I learned at CMU as a doctor.

Header Photos. Left: McCoy (center) performing in BioSAC's Annual Murder Mystery Dinner. Right: McCoy playing for the CMU Club Ice Hockey Team.