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August 22, 1999

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Question from Michigan, USA:

I recently found out my five year old has Type 1. I would like to go back to college to learn as much as possible in the area of diabetes research in order to devote myself in helping find a cure. I haven't the slightest idea in which courses I should take or where to begin. Any help would be appreciated. I have called local colleges and the have nothing except nursing. Should I begin there? I am more interested in the lab areas.

Answer:

There are several ways to go:

Study biology or medical technology since both of these majors would lead to lab jobs and diabetes bench or basic research. If you continue to a PhD, you could develop your own diabetes studies.
The other avenue is diabetes education and awareness, which is the one I’ve taken, as I have just received by Masters in Public Health.
Study coordination is also an option. It’s helpful to have medical assistant skills for screening, clinical followup, etc.
There are always opportunities in fundraising and support for diabetes research, as well as legislative advocacy.

Take your pick.

HVS