Vikram Chatterjee ’25: Pursuing career, building connections at CMC

Vikram Chatterjee ’25.

Photo by Anibal Ortiz

Vikram Chatterjee ’25

Major: Neuroscience, Data Science Sequence

When he was in high school, Vikram Chatterjee ’25 reflected on the things he loves doing — like solving problems and building connections and relationships — and decided medicine was the best career to pursue those interests. While applying to big universities, the Cypress, Calif., native also applied to CMC, almost on a whim. It was the only small, liberal arts college he applied to and, he ultimately realized, the only place to offer a more personal and well-rounded pre-med experience.

“I thought the small, intimate community would offer more face-to-face time with professors, and the liberal arts curriculum and focus on the humanities would provide some perspective that would be valuable in the medical field,” he said.

Now a Neuroscience major with a Data Science sequence, Chatterjee has found even more experiences at CMC that align with his goals of preparing for med school and a career as a physician.

“CMC has exposed me to the academic side of medicine but also the industry side, aspects at the intersection of healthcare and business and technologies. There’s also the intersection of humanities concepts, like ethics, that I’ve learned in my classes and can apply to healthcare.”

Chatterjee has put his problem-solving skills to work in one of his favorite classes, organic chemistry. He also considers the group discussions in his general education courses, like Economics and American Government and Politics, among his “most impactful experiences.”

“Overall, the curriculum here, as well as speeches at the Athenaeum, for instance, all of it bolsters people sharing different perspectives,” he said. “It’s a highlight that I’m in a place that encourages discussion and deliberation over powerful ideas, and discussion of controversial issues in a constructive dialogue rather than it being polarizing or divisive.”

Meanwhile, Chatterjee’s hands-on experiences have been equally stimulating. He works as an organic chemistry laboratory teaching assistant. “I love the educational aspect. I think being a physician is not just seeing your patients or solving scientific problems; it’s also cultivating knowledge and giving people the tools so that they can improve their health in the future. So, in a similar way, I am doing that with the students.”

He is also a neuroscience research assistant in the Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, using new technologies to look at working memory. Most recently, he joined the Randall Lewis Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, allowing him to explore the business side of medicine, such as considering ways to improve pharmaceutical backorder notifications to external healthcare systems.

Off campus, he works at the triage window at Pomona Valley Hospital, interacting with various patients. In addition to two summer research internships at the Medical Intelligence and Innovation Institute of CHOC (Children’s Hospital of Orange County), Chatterjee completed a summer research internship at City of Hope, where he researched immunotherapies for aggressive brain tumors.

“I was able to participate in meaningful, translational research at a cutting-edge facility, and I learned essential research skills that will benefit me over my entire career,” Chatterjee said.

“This internship influenced me to incorporate research into my future career as a clinician. While I am primarily interested in patient care, I look forward to working alongside researchers in developing novel therapies. In addition, I gained an interest in oncology as a specialty.”

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