• Graduation Year: 2026


Isabelle Mietus square headshot  Major: Biological Sciences

  How did you decide on your major?

 Preparation for medical school applications begins the minute you take your first class. The applications are accompanied by a long list of required classes to take in Undergrad and the notorious MCAT to test that knowledge.  Knowing this, I decided my best bet was to get a Biological Sciences degree. Biological Sciences gives students a broad range of skills and knowledge to succeed in whatever scientific career they choose. Within my first semester, my major was declared, and I had already planned out my class choices for the next year to keep me on track. The advisors in the Biological Sciences department are an email, zoom call, or walk away. My decision for my major was easy. My minor is still in the process.

  What is it about your chosen field (and the department) that appeals to you?

  I wish I could pinpoint exactly when I decided I wanted to be in the medical field. Truthfully, it feels like I always have. I jumped from pediatrics in middle school, anesthesia in high school, to oncology now. Throughout my high school career, I volunteered at the infusion center in my neighboring town and truly felt like I belonged in the environment. I love the kindness the medical team showed to each and every patient I met, the fun facts I learn in the classes I take every day, the study groups that form over stress, and the optimism for the future through the research I help to conduct. I look forward to continuing my education and being a part of the future in healthcare. I cannot wait to see a future in which cancer treatments are optimized and patients’ lives elongated.

Do you have favorite class/professor within your major?

Ironically, my favorite classes were some of my 8:30am lectures (I am NOT a morning person by any means). I took General Biology my first and second semester at Rutgers with Dr. Stern Cardinale and it was one of my favorite classes that year. His enthusiasm for the class was contagious, his fun facts sporadically placed throughout the lectures made them actually entertaining, and the friends I made in the class are still some of my favorite people. Another one of my favorite classes was calculus with Professor Banmali Banerjee. Professor Banerjee wanted his students to succeed, and he made each student feel like they mattered. Each class would start with a quote; “The word Impossible itself means I’m possible” was one I still remember being written on the board a day before our first midterm. Professor Banerjee made himself available to his students. He stayed after class, hosted individual zoom meetings for students who could not make office hours and gave extra credit when we as a class needed it.

What are your favorite academic experiences outside of your major?

My favorite academic experience outside of the classroom is my research under Dr. Huaye Zhang at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. My research surrounds Partitioning defective 1c (Par1c) also known as microtubule affinity regulating kinase (MARK1) which is a polarity protein with a role in dendritic spine development and consequently learning and memory. Throughout my time in lab, I have learned a tremendous amount in experimental procedures, the scientific method, and teamwork towards a common goal. Thus far, I have read a significant amount of literature, created a poster for presentation, written a paper for research credit, and performed countless experiments in my hundreds of hours in the laboratory. 

What are your other Rutgers activities?

I am lucky enough to say I keep myself extremely busy outside the classroom. In my spare time, I am a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha Female Fraternity, an Alzheimer’s buddy, RURJ reviewer for this year’s Aresty Research Journal, and research assistant in the Zhang lab.

What are your plans following graduation?

Following graduation I will be applying to medical school and hopefully matriculating! Wish me luck!

Anything else you would like to share?

Good luck and do not worry too much; what is meant to be will be.

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