Colleen Wilcox | April 8, 2019
Jenna Koenig’s first love was solving mysteries. She felt compelled to piece together leads and unravel complex puzzles. There was excitement behind the chase, as it ultimately led to discovery. This fascination was followed by her love of science and biology. It was only natural that Koenig was drawn to medical research, as she was always relentless in her search for answers.
“It became very clear to me at a young age that I wanted to become some sort of physician,” reflects Koenig. “You figure out a diagnosis and find the treatment plan, but also work to figure out the mechanism behind someone’s disease or why treatment works or doesn’t work.”
The biology major from Rice Lake, Wisconsin didn’t waste any time pursuing her academic and career aspirations after enrolling at the University of Notre Dame in 2016. During her freshmen year, Koenig was exposed to biomedical research at Harper Cancer Research Institute, where investigators from both Notre Dame and Indiana University School of Medicine work together with the goal of helping cancer patients survive longer. This sparked her interest in cancer research in particular, and how cancer develops.
“Each cancer is such a complex disease and I find that fascinating,” says Koenig. “There are so many ways to attack it, but it’s never going to be a quick, one-way answer.”
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