Emily Tom*


MD. (UCI, expected 2027)
Ph.D Physiology and Biophysics (UCI, expected 2025)
BS Biochemistry (UCLA, 2018)


Emily studies how aging affects the light-sensitive part of our eyes.


Emily received her BS in biochemistry from UCLA in 2018, where she conducted research in Dr. Genhong Cheng’s lab, studying host-pathogen interactions and immune response against viral and bacterial infections. Prior to entering medical school, she worked as an ophthalmic technician in Los Angeles, where she developed her interests in the eye, visual system and ophthalmic diseases. She is now a third-year MD/PhD student in Dr. Dorota Skowronska-Krawczyk's lab in the Center for Translational Vision Research studying lipid metabolism and molecular mechanisms of aging in the retina. In her free time, she enjoys running, baking, and hanging out with her 12-pound Maltese Yorkie, Ninja.

Why is science communication important to you personally?

As an aspiring physician-scientist, my goal is to bridge the gap between science and medicine by translating scientific discoveries made in the lab into therapeutic applications that can treat human disease. This goal cannot be achieved without the ability to communicate these exciting discoveries to a broader audience with varying scientific backgrounds. Having mentored several high school and undergraduate students, I am passionate about teaching and promoting science education. With effective science communication, I believe that we can empower individuals and communities with improved informed decision-making and make science more inclusive.

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