Meet Qierra Brockman

Qierra Brockman
Date: Friday, August 2, 2019

Name of graduate program: Molecular Medicine

Undergraduate institution: Coe College

Hometown: Denver, Colorado

Lab: Zhan Lab

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

The Molecular Medicine program was welcoming and organized. I knew that this interdisciplinary program could provide me the versatility and resources to perform cutting edge research that could make a real difference in the lives of patients.

What type of research are you performing?

My research interests include the development of a comprehensive understanding of how genetic and epigenetic alterations contribute to human disease and cancer. My project focuses on the epigenetic regulation of iron metabolism in the progression of multiple myeloma, a common hematological malignancy.

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

My long-term career plans include the continued investigation of how genetic and epigenetic alterations contribute to human disease and therapy development. I plan to continue this work at a research institution as a tenured faculty member with an emphasis in the mentorship of students and faculty development.

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

I was surprised how much everyone makes an effort to know you and help you along your journey. Coming from a small institution like Coe College, I expected to become a number at such a large institution, but I frequently see people who stop and ask how I’m doing and if there is anything they can help me with.

What is your favorite part about being a graduate student?

My favorite part about being a graduate student is when I’m reading through literature and find a paper that explains a concept that I’ve been struggling to understand. I love having “light bulb” moments.

Who is your biggest role model and why?

My biggest role model is Maya Angelou. Her words of wisdom inspire me to embody every aspect of who I am and continue to persevere through the challenges that cross my path.

What are some of your personal interests?

Some of my personal interests include physical activity and volunteering. I volunteer weekly at Table to Table, a local partner of the Coralville and North Liberty food pantries, to rescue food from local groceries/restaurants.

A piece of advice for incoming graduate students.

I would tell incoming graduate students to not fear making mistakes or an experiment not working. When things don’t work is when you learn the most.