Discover Your Island

Thanh Pham

Outstanding Islanders

Photo of Thanh Pham

An Unstoppable Passion for Science and Medicine

Thanh Pham has long dreamt of a career in the medical field. In spring 2015, she became one step closer to achieving her dream as she received her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences in only three years. Thanh has already been accepted to several prestigious Ph.D. programs at Stanford University; Oxford University; the University of California, Los Angeles; Baylor College of Medicine; Bristol University; and the University of Texas.

Pham credits her grandfather in Vietnam as her greatest inspiration. He had been a Red Cross Activist since the Vietnam War, traveling frequently to advocate for women and children’s health in Vietnam.

“While I was a young child, he took me with him around the country to see the different medical establishments, hiking from village to village,” said Pham. “He opened the door for me to medicine and community service work. From then on, I was instilled with an unstoppable passion!”

Pham has completed various research internships at the University of California, San Diego, in summer/winter 2013; at Baylor College of Medicine in summer 2014; and most recently, at Bristol University in Bristol, United Kingdom, in fall 2014, where she worked under Dr. Craig McArdle, one of the best leading scientists in the field of neuroendocrinology.

“I learned so much in the lab during the five months I was at Bristol University,” said Pham. “I actually dove into a new research field, biophysics and mathematics, which I didn’t have much background on prior to my visit.”

After graduation, Pham plans to travel with her Public Health Non-Government organization in South East Asia during the summer before heading to the University of California, Los Angeles, to pursue her graduate degree. Beyond that, Pham has even bigger plans.

“I want to be a doctor, a scientist, and a public health activist – all at the same time,” she said. “I plan to become the foremost expert in my field, both in research and clinical environments.”

For students who wish to pursue a similar path, Pham gives the following advice:

“Do not let anyone or anything insulate you from knowledge,” she said. “I would encourage students to get out of the classroom, see the world, gain experiences, get their hands dirty, and value opportunities.”