Devante Delbrune- 2021 Climb4KC Scholar

I was born and raised in Moorhead Minnesota. I became interested in medicine after becoming involved as a Certified Nursing Assistant in college. I am an identical twin and he is also in medical school with me at the University of Minnesota Medical School. I played football most of my life and continued into college Minnesota State University Moorhead I particularly became interested in kidney cancer as my father has renal failure… Read More

Brett Norling- 2021 Climb4KC Scholar

I grew up west of Minneapolis, MN, and completed my undergraduate degree at Bethel University in biochemistry. I completed research on heart valve biomaterials and worked as a medical scribe in the Emergency Department during college, both of which confirmed my suspicion that the medical field is for me. That suspicion began as a high schooler after shadowing the orthopedic surgeon who repaired my thumb following a football injury. I took interest in urology after… Read More

Niklas Damberg- 2021 Climb4KC Scholar

Niklas grew up just north of Minneapolis and subsequently attended the University of Minnesota where he majored in biology and minored in chemistry and nutrition. In college, he competed on the alpine ski and lacrosse teams, worked in a group home setting with teenage residents having mental and physical disabilities, and researched pancreatic beta-cell dysfunction. This prior research heavily utilized imaging to assess beta-cell health and function. Since, the potential that diagnostic imaging has in… Read More

Griffin Struyk- 2020 Climb4KC Scholar

When he’s not studying for med school exams, you can find Griffin spending his time skiing, sailing, or fishing.  Originally from Minnetonka, Minnesota, Griffin attended college at the University of Connecticut, where he raced on the alpine ski team. He developed an interest in medicine while volunteering as a research assistant at a local emergency room in college. During this time, he learned to appreciate the important role that research plays in transforming medical… Read More

Safa Abdulkadir- 2020 Climb4KC Scholar

My family is originally from East Africa but I grew up in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Upon graduating high school, I was diagnosed with a neuromuscular disease which inspired my interest in medicine and research. From there, I pursued a degree in physiology at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and went on to attend medical school at the same institution. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, running, and visiting art museums. I… Read More

John French- 2020 Climb4KC Scholar

I was born in Pasadena, California, but grew up in Idaho just outside of Boise. I attended college at The College of Idaho, where I played soccer for their men’s soccer program. Through my studies, I earned a triple major and triple minor in the fields of Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics/Physics and Business, History, and Religion, respectively. Between my time from graduation to attend medical school at the University of Missouri, I… Read More

Sierra Virnig- 2020 Climb4KC Scholar

My name is Sierra Virnig, I am 24 years old and have a BA from The College of Saint Benedict where I studied Biology. I grew up in Little Falls, MN but I currently work as a Nursing Assistant at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis. I value overall health and well-being and strive to live a healthy lifestyle – one such way I accomplish that goal is by… Read More

Benjamin Simpson- 2020 Climb4KC Scholar

Ben is a native of the Twin-Cities, growing up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Before starting medical school at the University of Minnesota, Ben studied biochemistry at Macalester College just down the road in St. Paul. Outside of studying, he likes to play soccer and basketball with friends and take his dog Winston to the dog park.  He became interested in medicine while working at Hennepin County Medical Center after graduating college, finding that… Read More

Ben Byun- 2020 Climb4KC Scholar

Hello, I’m Ben and I’m a 1st-year med student at UMN. I went to Carleton College for undergrad and majored in Chemistry. There was one point where I considered doubling into Computer Science, but I still valued the little sleep I could get so I had passed on that and just did half the major, which in my world of math, 1/2 a major is like a minor…? Anywho, I guess working… Read More

David Wu- 2020 Climb4KC Scholar

I’m from Cupertino, CA. My father is an acupuncturist so that got me very interested in the different kinds of medicines humans use to treat disease. I think the kidney is a beautiful organ as it is an organ of balance and filtration. I’m excited to research it this summer and learn more about machine learning/AI!