I became interested in biomedical research during my undergraduate years at the University of Chicago. I was fascinated by the mechanisms that allow our cells to organize into complicated structures. This interest led me to seek out a career in translational biomedical research. I applied to the MD/PhD program at Weill Cornell Medical School with the aim of pursuing not only my interest in basic science research but also seeking how to apply these findings towards patient care. For the next several years, I focused on understanding the cell signaling pathways that allow rogue cancer cells to accomplish feats such as homing to distinct tissues, invasion of distant organs, and the remodeling of metastatic sites for cancer growth. My graduate work took me from the biochemical interactions of proteins, to animal models of disease, on up to bioinformatic approaches that tested my hypotheses on human clinical samples. After completing residency in internal medicine, I chose to pursue a career in gastroenterology. One of the compelling features of gastroenterology is the exciting pace of discovery and the potential new avenues of research. The goal for the lab over next few years is to pursue projects investigating inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer metastasis with an eye on addressing clinically relevant problems. I hope to continue to build on my progress and take advantage of the wealth opportunities that UCLA has to offer both clinically and scientifically.
David Padua, MD, PhD
Associate Director, UCLA GI Fellowship Program
Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System