Katherine Varandas ’10 (biotechnology)

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Current position: Fourth year Ph.D. student in cell biology at UCSF.

Career path:“In high school, I really liked biology, but I knew I didn’t want to be a doctor.” While at RIT, Varandas earned what is arguably the most prestigious national undergraduate award for math and science when she was named a Goldwater Scholar in 2009. The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship is for students interested in pursuing careers in math, the natural sciences or engineering. Varandas was one of 278 national winners from a pool of 1,100 nominees.

Varandas had the opportunity at RIT to do research in the area of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Rochester’s Aab Cardiovascular Research Institute. Her research was involved with the role of the novel gene mena in heart failure. “I loved doing the research. It was really exciting for me.”

Varandas plans to pursue a career as a research professor in biology.

On the Bay Area: “It’s completely different from Rochester in every single way.”

She notes the emphasis on outdoor activity and the exhilarating culture. A number of her friends from RIT have moved to the Bay Area. “People who live and work in this city are very smart, very interesting. I really enjoy that.”

Currently resides in: Mission Bay, San Francisco

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