|Matthew Zimmerman, Ph.D.|
Below, Dr. Zimmerman talks with UNMC Today.
What drew you into research?
I have always been fascinated by the science that underlies our everyday lives. My mother has polio and as a teenager I found myself wondering how she got it and why there seemed to be so few people with polio. ... During my junior year in college ... I was awarded a Howard Hughes Summer Undergraduate Scholarship at the University of Iowa. This experience introduced me to an entire world of possibilities of what my degree could be used for, and ultimately drew me into a career in academic research.
What advice would you give to someone who just started his or her research career?
Surround yourself with great people, quickly establish collaborations with your senior colleagues and insist upon doing good science. Many new investigators get caught up in writing and submitting as many grants as possible. Although getting that first grant funded is important, I believe it is equally (or perhaps more) important to invest time identifying potential collaborators who can help you move your research program in the right direction. ... It is critical that you place yourself in a supportive environment. Our department at UNMC has been exceptional in this regard. Once strong collaborations are established, your difficult experiments will be properly executed, the key pieces of data will be collected, manuscripts will be published and your first grant will be funded.
Congratulation Dr. Zimmerman. It is great working with you. You are a breath of fresh air for our department.