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Medical Science Meet Student Ahsun Bajwa

Ahsun Bajwa, Drexel Medical Science Program Alumn


Hometown: Orwigsburg, PA
Undergraduate: Temple University, Bachelors of Science in Chemistry
Graduate School: Drexel University College of Medicine, MS in Medical Science Accepted Medical School: Drexel University College of Medicine


Can you tell me a little about yourself before coming to Drexel?

I grew up in Orwigsburg, PA. I came to Philadelphia 8 years ago to begin my college education at Temple University. Following my graduation in 2015, I was a medical scribe at Riddle Hospital in Media, PA. My interests outside of school are music, football, and socializing with friends in the great city of Philadelphia. Go Eagles!

Why did you choose the Medical Science (MMS) program?

My experience as a scribe motivated my decision to pursue a career within medicine, but I understood that I needed to strengthen my application before applying to medical school. I was familiar with Drexel University College of Medicine and its graduate programs due to having several friends within the program, so I decided to apply. The ability to take medical school coursework instead of traditional graduate work also seemed more appealing to me, as I needed to strengthen my academics the most, and I felt that the MMS program would give me the best opportunity to do so.

What has your experience been like in the program so far?

My experience within the program has been excellent. Taking medical school coursework as part of the curriculum has allowed me to feel confident and prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. I was able to develop the skills necessary that will allow me to succeed within medical school and beyond. The research component of the program provided me with invaluable experience within the field of scientific research, which will allow me to make meaningful contributions to any future research projects I undertake. Also, the people that I met in the program have become lifelong friends, and I will be forever grateful to the graduate school for bringing us together.

What is your relationship with faculty like?

I have formed meaningful relationships with every single one of my professors and mentors that I encountered within this program. Each of them provided meaningful insight and contributions to my education and medical school application. I am extremely thankful for their expertise and openness when interacting with students.

Can you tell me a little about your research project?

I work in Dr. Michael Bouchard's cancer biology lab, where we study the hepatitis B virus (HBV). HBV modulates infected hepatocytes in order to promote its long term survivability within cells, and the mechanism by which it does this is largely unknown. My project focused on a protein known as HBXIP (hepatitis-B-virus X-protein interacting protein) which interacts with a viral protein of HBV. It has been shown to inhibit HBV replication, but the mechanism by which this inhibition occurs is unknown. My research hypothesizes that this inhibition may occur through a complex known as mTORC1, and it is what I am currently investigating.

What are your plans for after you complete the MS program?

I have been accepted to the MD program at Drexel University College of Medicine, and will be beginning in the fall.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering Drexel's Medical Science program?

While difficult, this program will help you achieve your goals. The faculty within the programs are excellent and truly want to see their students do well. The people you will meet within the program are awesome, and you will leave the program with many new friends. Most importantly, it will prepare you for medical school and give you the knowledge and expertise that few others will have, setting students up for continued success throughout their professional career.

Drexel University College of Medicine Medical Science program graduate students participating in a group discussion.