May 4, 2020

Pharmacology Student Spotlight

Jacob Ormes

MS Student, Ferrario Lab

 Jacob Ormes

MS Student, Ferrario Lab
Hometown: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
Undergraduate Degree: Kinesiology, Michigan State University


What do you wish your colleagues/friends/family knew about your work? 

That I’m still really in the learning and investment phase, but hopefully it will pay off at some point. One thing I enjoy about science is that the “ceiling” of potential possibilities seems almost limitless, in that, a team’s contribution to a given field can occasionally have broad and far-reaching implications. I think it is the hope and goal for many scientists that they’ll be able to make such a contribution, but I suppose I’d like people to know that the process is very slow, and patience is key. 

What do you consider your biggest challenge? 

Being older. For no other reason than I struggle with the feeling of “being behind” and inexperienced relative to my peers and for my years, respectively. It has certainly been difficult throughout the course of my MS degree to learn laboratory techniques with little to no prior experience. One advantage of this, though, is that I’ve had to learn how to rely on others and ask for help. It has also made me a much more patient and understanding person, since I’ve constantly required patience and understanding from others. 

What drives you? 

The feeling of genuine curiosity and making new connections between seemingly disparate ideas. I really enjoy the feeling of being in the classroom or in lab meeting with a burning question or interesting point that I really want to share. When I feel like I’ve made a connection between one of my classes or with some information from a previous degree, I feel as though I’m getting closer to a holistic understanding of biological systems – and that is a big goal of mine. 

What are you most proud of? 

That I’m more comfortable being uncomfortable than I was one year ago. This degree has forced me to be okay with just doing something without “feeling” like I really know what I’m doing. I think in the past I’ve been a bit afraid of making mistakes, but I’ve realized how limiting this can be for my own learning. Mistakes are going to happen and we can’t let that prevent us from taking on new challenges, garnering new experiences, and growing as a person. 

What do you plan to do with your degree? 

Pursue a PhD. 

Tell us a fun or interesting fact about yourself. 

In 2015, I finished my first master’s degree in Exercise Science and began working for a start-up supplement company. For me, this was an extremely formative experience as I formed strong relationships with my co-workers wherein, we frequently discussed scientific and philosophical topics. I think this was probably where I gained a desire to learn “deeper” aspects of science as opposed to staying in the exercise science field. One of the best experiences I had during this time was that I helped shoot a documentary with my friends where we drove across the country and visited different gyms.

How would you describe your discipline if you were at a party? 

“No, I’m not a pharmacist...”