For Brittney Newby, PhD, entering the UF MD-PhD Training Program to study biomedical sciences was the perfect marriage of her research and clinical interests. Passionate about pediatrics and riveted by immunology, she received her doctoral degree April 28.
Newby’s dissertation focused on environmental factors leading to Type 1 diabetes, which may lead to new targeted therapies for individuals at risk for developing the disease. Her passion for the topic and hard work resulted in her receiving the 2017 UF Medical Guild’s gold award for graduate student research.
Newby said she’s wanted to be a physician since she was 5 years old and focused on pursuing a career in science while an undergraduate student at Florida A&M University. She entered the UF MD-PhD Training Program in the fall of 2011.
“I realized research is what moves medicine forward,” she said. “We can use the scientific knowledge attained in the lab to answer questions that have been plaguing medicine.”
Newby recalls being overwhelmed with feelings of self-doubt while applying for UF’s graduate program in biomedical sciences. Today, her advice for anyone passionate about science and medicine is simple: believe in yourself.
“If you’re passionate about and dedicated to your goals, no one or nothing can stop you from achieving them,” she said.
With her dissertation research behind her, Newby will begin a clinical clerkship at UF Health Shands Hospital. She takes comfort in knowing the classmates with whom she started the MD-PhD program will continue to be sources of support in her future.
“Since we’re all on this unique journey of going to school for eight years, we’ve become very close,” she said. “I’m very thankful to have my classmates beside me.”
This story originally ran in the Fall 2017 issue of the Doctor Gator newsletter.