Summer Scholars: Meet Emily Beverly

Name: Emily Beverly

Hometown: Urbana, IL

Prior universities and degrees earned:  Bachelor of Science in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from NC State University

Title of your Summer Scholars project: Wildlife as Sentinels for Chagas Disease Across the Eastern United States

What is your role in the project?
I am beginning my research by conducting and writing a literature review about our topic and will further assist in contacting labs across the Eastern US to collect wildlife blood/tissue samples we will analyze for T. cruzi, a protozoan parasite that is the cause of a zoonotic disease with symptoms ranging from asymptomatic to chronic cardiovascular and gastroenterological changes called Chagas disease.

Why did you choose to participate in the summer scholars program?
Research has always been how I have gotten more involved with my academics. I worked in several research labs throughout my undergraduate career and learned more in each of those labs than the classroom.

Who do you hope to impact with this project?
The public, veterinary, and medical communities. Chagas disease is at the intersection of entomology, environmental science, veterinary and human medicine, etc. The changes we are seeing with it are also likely to be seen in many other tropical diseases the U.S. hasn’t had to deal with in the past. So, learning how to track the disease and implementing protocols for diagnosis will help streamline future endeavors related to rising conditions.

What are your hopes and plans after graduation?
Right now, I plan to be a gastroenterologist and dream of being a famous physician chef with a website on healthy eating for the gut.

What are your passions and hobbies outside of medicine?
I love to cook, eat, and exercise (so I can continue to cook and eat more)! I also spend most of my time outside of class with my 2 cats and dog; they probably know more about medicine than I do!

What would you go back and tell yourself before starting medical school?
Start therapy sooner.  From balancing jobs, academics, social lives, and then the literal cost of applying to medical school… the stress we put on ourselves during the process is unreasonable and sorting through those and other frustrations is really important.  It also helps build healthy habits from the start.

To learn more about the Summer Scholars Program visit: