Featured Alum: Minoli Perera, Pharm.D.,Ph.D., Biology 1997

I guess my story starts like many other immigrants; I was born in Sri Lanka, a small island in the Indian Ocean. My parents moved to the United States from Africa (a stop in their odyssey to Memphis). But we finally settled here and after a few years my story intersects with CBU. My time at CBU was fun and freeing and most of all good training for what was to come. I finished my BS in Biology in 1997 and started in the dual degree Pharm.D, Ph.D program at the University of Tennessee (just down the street). I remember graduate life as grueling. Not only was I taking all the regular Pharmacy classes, but I was also taking graduate class towards my Ph.D. In my last year in Pharmacy school, my Ph.D advisor moved to The Ohio State University. I finished my Ph.D in Ohio in 2003, and decided to pursue fellowship training. I really wanted something that would put both my clinical training and basic science skills to good use. I decided to join the Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacogenomics fellowship at the University of Chicago. This was an intense two years of learning Human Genetics (something I had not taken since my time at CBU) and a lot of advanced training on becoming a translational scientist. I am now on the faculty at the University of Chicago in the Department of Medicine. My research focuses on pharmacogenomics, basically how genetics can help predict how well a drug will work or who is more likely to get side effects. In between all the science I married a wonderful man and have one great little boy. We live in Chicago (right by Sox stadium, GO SOX). I really love the city and life in Chicago, though I miss the “winters” in Memphis.