Elizabeth Amaro-Gonzalez ’18 will join Decibel Therapeutics this summer after earning her MS at Elms.
“The Beauty of a Master’s Degree”
At only 23 years old, Elizabeth Amaro-Gonzalez ’18 is translating her graduate school experience at Elms into a position with Decibel Therapeutics, a Boston-based biotechnology company developing groundbreaking therapies to treat hearing loss. The Springfield, MA, native is a member of the first class to graduate from the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences (BMS) program at the college. Elizabeth credits the BMS program with giving her the opportunity to boost her grades and solidify her lab experience before entering the job market.
“I knew this would be a challenging program, but that it would give me a second chance,” Elizabeth said. “What attracted me most to the program was Dr. Williams’ enthusiasm.”
Having earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Holy Cross in 2017, Elizabeth decided to pursue a research-oriented career in the sciences. After consulting with Janet Williams, Ph.D., director of the BMS program, Elizabeth discovered that a master’s degree would open the greatest number of doors for her after graduation.
“The beauty of a master’s degree in research, or science, is that you can do a lot with it,” Elizabeth said. “I can start off with a company as a research associate, and then move my way up into a senior scientist position without needing to have my Ph.D. I can have the same amount of experience with my master’s as someone with their doctorate.”
Professional Lab Experience
With the MS degree, Elizabeth said, she comes across as being a more versatile researcher, rather than as a specialist who only works within a single field. Studying at Elms offered her the chance to expand her knowledge into many different areas of inquiry, including pharmacology, molecular biology, immunology, and neuroscience. At Decibel Therapeutics, she will begin applying her expertise as a member of the pharmacology division.
“Being able to complete everything in one year, and being exposed to all of these courses that I didn’t have the opportunity to take in undergrad, really appealed to me,” she said.
Elizabeth also bolstered her professional experience while completing the program, working at the Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute (PVLS) conducting research on how estrogen affects breast density. Students in the MS program gain valuable real-world lab experience prior to earning their degree by conducting research each term as part of a capstone course.
Working at PVLS gave Elizabeth the chance to master many of the lab techniques that are essential for students intending to join private industry labs. These skills run the gamut from gel electrophoresis, fluorescent microscopy, and immunocytochemistry, to RNA, DNA, and protein isolation.
Elizabeth notes that the BMS program is ideal for students who may have struggled with their studies as undergraduate students, but who have resolved to find jobs in science-related fields.
“It was very rigorous, but the program is structured for you to succeed,” she said.
The BMS program at Elms provides students valuable preparation for premedical and research sciences career paths. Whether you’re interested in attending medical school, a health sciences graduate program, a graduate program in the research sciences or public health, or you wish to pursue a research position in biotechnology or biomedical sciences, our rigorous one year program will help you develop the knowledge and expertise needed to make your application stand out. Contact us for more information.