LMU’s Jesuit Mission Aligns with Biology Major’s Interest in Medicine

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Brandon Klein, senior biology major

Brandon Klein is one of those people who’ve known from a young age how they want to dedicate their lives—since early in his life, he’s had a passion to become a physician.

The biology senior, who’s minoring in biochemistry, explains that his fascination with the miracle of life and his dread of its necessary end are the drivers for his passion.

“The Jesuit mission falls hand-in-hand with the medical mission I have,” he says. “One of LMU’s goals is to educate men and women for and with others. I think that’s what it means to be a health care provider—being of service to your community and a community leader in whatever capacity you can to guide those who are in need.”

The inability of medicine to cure certain diseases has fueled his pursuit of research. Building on research he conducted at LMU into dry age-related macular degeneration, Klein studied blood vessels in the retinas of more than 150 patients through an internship this past summer at the National Eye Institute’s Laboratory of Retinal Cell and Molecular Biology. The results provide novel insight into the natural history of macular degeneration.

Klein will continue to work toward publishing results from the research he started during his summer internship as he prepares to begin training to become a physician at Georgetown University School of Medicine. Georgetown was his No. 1 choice for medical school, and he’s thrilled that he’ll be able to continue studying at a Jesuit institution.

To stay centered throughout the anxiety-inducing process of applying to medical schools, Klein turned to meditation, a technique he learned from a professor trained in mindfulness who led students in meditation each day before beginning class.

“The fact that LMU would hire a professor who’s also a meditation instructor is an example of how LMU is an institution invested in the whole person,” Klein says. “It is not just an empty message, it’s something the university lives and breathes.”

Klein’s advice for fellow Lions: “LMU provides the resources and support where anyone can reach their personal potential—seize all the opportunities here and in the greater Los Angeles community to grow as a human being, as a citizen and as a professional.”

Klein speaks from experience. His research won awards at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Undergraduate poster competition and at the Tri Beta Pacific Division Conference. He was also awarded honorable mention for the Goldwater Scholarship, the nation’s premier undergraduate scholarship in mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering.

LMU also recognized Klein as a 2018 Program Scholar and a Presidential Citation awardee. Program scholars have achieved the highest grade point average among seniors in their respective majors. Presidential Citations are awarded to graduating seniors for outstanding academic achievement, leadership and service—embodying the university’s goal to create “men and women for others.”