Logo for University of Iowa Health Care This logo represents the University of Iowa Health Care

Meet Isaac Jensen

Date: Monday, May 4, 2020

Isaac Jensen, portraitName of graduate program: Immunology
Undergraduate institution: University of North Dakota
Hometown: Bismarck, ND

Why did you choose the University of Iowa to pursue your graduate degree?

I chose Iowa because its strong collaborative research environment allows for several opportunities to learn and develop interesting research avenues.

What type of research are you performing?

My primary research is focused on how sepsis, a dysregulated host response to systemic infection, impacts the function of natural killer cells, an innate lymphoid population. So far, I have shown that sepsis leads to a significant impairment in both the number and intrinsic function of natural killer cells. This impairs the host’s capacity to control subsequent unrelated infection.

What do you hope to do after you earn your degree?

After earning my degree, I will seek out an academic post-doctoral position with the intention of eventually leading my own research program as a principal investigator.

What is something that surprised you about the University of Iowa or your graduate program?

While I chose Iowa for strong collaborative environment, I was still surprised by how much opportunity this opened up and has allowed me to participate in a wide range of projects.

What is your favorite part about being a graduate student?

I like most aspects of being a graduate student but I really enjoy the discovery aspect of science and the possibility of being the first person to know something.

Who is your biggest role model and why?

My parents will always be my biggest role models because I feel their commitment to family and pursuit of passion has facilitated the success of myself and my siblings. 

What are some of your personal interests?

I enjoy brewing beer, attending weekly trivia with friends, camping, and recently planning a wedding with my fiancé.

A piece of advice for incoming graduate students.

You will know your data better than anyone so take your time when looking at it and don’t ignore the anomalies. Sometimes there is a really interesting story in what you may initially perceive as a failure.