Undergraduate Spotlights

Q&A with biochemistry student Megan Johnsen

Mar 18, 2021
´╗┐Megan Johnsen is on the pre-med track with plans to specialize in anesthesiology.
“I discovered my interest in anesthesia and treating pain when I began my honors thesis project on the comparison of a new preclinical pain index with traditional ones in Dr. Rebecca Craft’s lab,” she said. “I have always been drawn to working in the operating room, so naturally anesthesiology captured my attention.” Off campus, Megan’s mastering her homemade artisan bread, enjoys hiking, painting, and watching the Palouse sunsets on Thompson Flats.

Where are you from and where did you graduate high school?
I grew up in Redmond, Washington, and went to Lake Washington High School in Kirkland, Washington. I am a third-year student studying biochemistry on the pre-med track, and I also recently completed a Spanish minor.
 
What are some of your favorite hobbies?
In my free time, I enjoy cooking and baking diverse recipes and finding new ways to improve my culinary skills. Last year, I made my own sourdough starter and have been perfecting my homemade artisan bread. I also love painting, hiking, watching Palouse sunsets on Thompson flats, and spending time with friends and family.
 
What’s your favorite thing about or around WSU?
One of my favorite things about WSU is the Cougar community. Everyone is very welcoming and I immediately felt at home when I arrived on campus as a freshman. I have met many friends in my classes and the professors are passionate about what they teach and genuinely care about your learning and well-being. It’s also fun to wear WSU spirit gear when you travel because you will hear a “Go Cougs!” wherever you go!
 
What’s your favorite course you’ve taken at WSU?
It’s so hard to pick just one! I  really enjoyed learning about genetics and cell biology with Dr. Davis in Biology 107, so much so that I became an undergraduate TA for this class for three semesters. I also loved MBioS 303 with Dr. Ronald Brosemer and how he connects biochemical reactions to various real-life medical applications.
 
What are your career goals?
My career goal is to attend medical school and specialize in anesthesiology, potentially also completing a fellowship training in interventional pain medicine. I discovered my interest in anesthesia and treating pain when I began my honors thesis project on the comparison of a new preclinical pain index with traditional ones in Dr. Rebecca Craft’s lab in the Department of Psychology.  I have also always been drawn to working in the operating room, so naturally anesthesiology captured my attention. I would also like to devote time to pain management research and teaching medical students.