Kate Hamilton ’13
Pasadena, California
Biology, Pre-med
AFTER MAC: SENIOr Research Analyst, Payer Consulting at Optum


  • Biology research
  • Preceptor, Physiology course
  • Soccer
  • Student representative to Board of Trustees
  • Student Government (chair Academic Affairs, chair Financial Affairs)
  • Health Professions Student Community

Why Mac?

My college counselor told me to take a look, and when I visited, I fell in love with this place. When I was leaving for my flight home, my plane got hit by lightning, so I couldn’t fly home that day. I called the girls I had stayed with and asked if I could stay another night. They said, “Of course.” That’s typical of Mac students: open and welcoming. 

What have you researched?

I’ve studied chronic inflammatory pain in Lin Aanonsen’s lab since my sophomore year. You get a really good grasp of the questions working on one ongoing, focused research project. My honors thesis is a continuation of that research. The questions are never-ending, and my to-do list is 50 questions long.

What’s next for you?

I want to practice medicine, but I’m having an internal battle with all of my passions. I love research and am considering an MD/PhD program. I also really like policy. As a doctor, I also see myself being on the board at a hospital. I’m figuring out how to pull it all together.

What advice would you give new students?

Try everything, but don’t waste time doing things just because you feel you have to. Life is so short; there is no reason to continue working on things about which you are not passionate.

Try picking one or two commitments your first year—I didn’t get more involved until sophomore year—but don’t stop trying new things just because freshman year is over.

March 11 2013

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