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Maggie McCann (’13)
Maggie McCann (’13)

An MD-PhD candidate at Creighton University, Maggie McCann (’13) recently completed a prestigious two-year fellowship with the Paul Ramsey Institute, which trains young leaders from a wide range of disciplines in a morally grounded approach to bioethics. She has also completed the first part of her dissertation in collaboration with Stanford University, focusing on spinal cord injury. 

After graduating from Thomas Aquinas College in 2013, Miss McCann spent a year in veterinary school at Purdue University before deciding to pursue human medicine. As an NIH T35 fellow at Stanford, she then studied molecular and cancer biology before finding her true passion: neuroscience. She was the first student in Stanford’s newly minted Masters in Laboratory Animal Science program, where she studied spinal cord injury. 

“The education I received from TAC prepared me well for a career in science,” she reflects. “The program teaches one to think analytically, which is what scientists spend most of their time doing. Additionally, the integrated nature of TAC’s curriculum enriched my education and helped me appreciate how philosophy and science reciprocate.”

During her time at the College, Miss McCann especially enjoyed freshman and sophomore science and philosophy, as well as “all of Junior Year.” She describes writing her Senior Thesis — which explored the philosophical definition of life — as one of the more challenging and fulfilling academic pursuits she has ever pursued. She is particularly grateful to her thesis adviser, Dr. Thomas Kaiser, for his wisdom and guidance on that project.

“The education I received at TAC has been invaluable to me in my own thinking,” Miss McCann observes, especially “as I dialogue with my peers about what constitutes ethical science and medicine.”

Next up, she looks forward to starting the second part of her dissertation this fall, studying molecular markers of peripheral nerve injury in collaboration with Barrow Neurological Institute.