Current Students

Dana Giannandrea

Dana Giannandrea


Department: undecided
Advisor: undecided

Student Profile:

I matriculated into Upstate in 2014.

My reasons for becoming an MD-PhD student were quite simple, and unfortunately did not involve any divine revelations. From the time I started taking my studies of biology seriously, I always had a deep interest in studying human physiology – how all the moving parts of each tissue result in a coherent, functional organism, at least the majority of the time. I decided to utilize this passion to make a difference in the medical field. My research experiences studying electrophysiology as an undergraduate increased my desire to be a part of the knowledge-producing division of medicine in addition to being a medical professional, which is how I became interested in the MD-PhD program. In addition, I found that my ideals were in line with how science acts at its best, where asking questions pertaining to how we know what we think we know is a value, guarding against the balderdash that science at its worst disseminates.

My passion in the research area is in electrophysiology and I am currently involved with studying the electrophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases.

I decided to apply and ultimately become a student at Upstate for a few reasons; I saw that Upstate would provide me with the resources necessary for doing good work and, as a runner, the scenery of Central New York would provide me with ample opportunities to escape the occasional drudgery of medical student life.

Besides studying medicine, I have numerous so-called extracurricular interests. I love going running, especially going on adventures to the middle of nowhere and exploring them on foot (it also makes you realize how big the world is). I enjoy the half-marathon to marathon distances the most, as they challenge you in the bodily sense, different form the mental challenge with which we students have become acquainted. In addition, I receive a perverted pleasure from reading philosophy and math, so I do that when I am in the mood.

Besides the scenery characteristic of Central New York, one other thing I love about Syracuse is the food, also characteristic of Central New York. As someone from Utica, I am proud that different cultures, e.g. Italian, Polish, German, etc., have successfully maintained their cuisine in Central New York. But, to be fair, Syracuse seriously needs to re-examine its concepts of chicken riggies, tomato pie, and pizza, but if you want good Italian food (why would you want anything else?), Syracuse is the place to be (if you can’t be in Utica, of couse).