Sanya Mehta was captivated by the study of medicine at an early age, but research was not her initial career choice. While working as a volunteer EMT, she gained exposure to the health care field and began to realize that she was more interested in understanding and addressing the root causes of disease. This pushed her career goals in a different direction - towards biomedical research.
Mehta earned her bachelor’s degree in nutrition science in 2019 from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. In college, she enjoyed learning from the more experienced researchers in lab and found a strong sense of purpose in applying her newfound knowledge to the projects she was involved. Her undergraduate research experience led her to apply for a postbaccalaureate research position where she was able to solidify her goal to pursue a graduate degree in biomedical sciences. During this time, Mehta also became involved with the Ulman Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a community of support for young adults impacted by cancer. Here, while volunteering with a running group for cancer survivors through Cancer to 5K, she met two of her closest friends and was able to advocate for and connect with the young adult cancer community. This experience confirmed her desire to pursue a graduate degree and become a leader in the translational study of cancer biology.
“I am profoundly inspired by the hard-fought success stories of two of my closest friends, and the brilliant researchers who made their future possible,” she says. “The extensive opportunities and resource rich environment offered by the St. Jude Graduate School of Biomedical Science will help me to fulfill both of my aspirations: to pursue a graduate degree in biomedical sciences and become a leader in the study of translational cancer biology.”
Hometown: Raleigh, North Carolina