Tomás Meijome is quick to say that as an Argentine, he, of course, plays soccer. What he can also say is that what he is learning in various IUPUI laboratories is preparing him for a career as a physician-researcher who may someday help bring discoveries from the bench to the bedside.
A School of Science sophomore, it was his anatomy and physiology teacher at Center Grove High School in Greenwood, Indiana, who turned him onto science. She constantly challenged him with novel and intriguing ideas, recognizing in him a certain spark and aptitude and ultimately encouraging him to go into the life sciences.
After living and attending schools in the outskirts of Buenos Aires and across the United States from Utah, Arizona and Oklahoma to Indiana, he elected to follow in the footsteps of his older brother Marcelo and attend IUPUI.
Once on campus Meijome headed straight for the School of Science where he enrolled in both biology and chemistry courses with plans to major in biology, apply to medical school and earn an M.D. degree. By his second semester he had been selected as a peer mentor for students taking introductory chemistry. By his sophomore year he was one of three program coordinators and training other mentors.
Exploring options for the summer between freshman and sophomore years, he had learned of the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program at IUPUI, which gets students from groups underrepresented in the sciences into labs very early in their college careers. He’d never really thought about doing research but decided to give it a try. He applied for and was accepted by the program.
“I thought it would be interesting to try working in a lab, but had no idea what kind of basic science research I might want to do. The LSAMP Program was an ideal way for me to test the waters and see if I liked research, he recalls.