Michael McGill

Michael McGill

Dr. David Threadgill’s Laboratory

Entrance year: 2019

Hometown: Mahtomedi, MN

“My project explores how genetic background impacts individual susceptibility to colorectal cancer metastasis. Colorectal cancer remains the third leading cause of cancer related deaths in the United States, and the vast majority of these deaths are due to metastatic disease. The ability to genetically identify patients who are at high risk of developing metastatic colorectal cancer would be invaluable for designing more appropriate and effective clinical interventions.”

Research Specialties

Bioinformatics and Genomics

Medical Genetics- Human and Animal

Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Genetics

Why did you choose the Genetics PhD program at A&M?

The interdisciplinary aspect of the program was very alluring as it was clear that this program will prepare me for a wide assortment of future careers. On top of that, my research interests align with many labs in the Genetics program at A&M, which affirmed my feelings that I was a good fit for the program. Perhaps most importantly, the professors, staff and other graduate students in the program are extremely welcoming and supportive which made it very easy to accept my admissions offer.

When and how did you realize that you wanted to study Genetics?

Growing up in Minnesota, I have always had a special connection to nature and have grown to need and appreciate the beauty and subliminal feeling of being in nature. In high school, I was introduced to the double-helical structure of DNA. I consider DNA to be the most beautiful feature of nature because all the biotic things we observe, creating the awe-inspiring scenery around us, are a product of the DNA held inside of them. When I connected these dots, I realized I wanted to study genetics in some capacity.

Fun Facts:

What would be your dream job after graduation from the program?

As a dreamer, I’d love to be an astronaut conducting experiments in microgravity on the ISS. On a more realistic level, I’d like to continue researching cancer or other pathologies in a clinical research or academic setting. I simply hope to leave the world a better place for future generations, and I think my remaining time in the program will help to illuminate which jobs will allow me to do that most effectively.

What is your favorite thing about life in College Station?

Easy, Aggie football! There are few things better than college football Saturday at Kyle Field. Coming from a small school, I’ve been amazed by the excitement and passion surrounding SEC football. I can’t wait to get out to some games this fall.

Do you have any pets? If so, please tell us about them.

Yes, Maverick! He’s a 2-year-old German Shepherd mix from a rescue in Navasota. He’s full of love and energy. Graduate school can be very stressful, but thankfully Maverick always reminds me to delight in the simple. We take a 2 mile walk every morning where all we need to do is focus on putting one paw in front of the other and stopping to smell the roses. He’s an incredible companion.