Tag School of Medicine and Public Health
When Jeff Mahlum suffered a spinal cord injury during a diving accident in 2011 that left him paralyzed from the chest down, he had the unfortunate opportunity to learn how confusing and daunting the health care system can be. Having graduated with a major in biology from the UW in 2013, Mahlum decided to use the gap year between undergraduate and medical school to learn more about how he could understand the needs of his future patients. Mahlum, who’s now enrolled at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, discovered patient advocacy and the Center for Patient Partnerships.
Waclaw Szybalski, 92, a genius of genetics who has been repeatedly mentioned as a candidate for the Nobel Prize, grew up as an aspiring scientist during World War II in the eastern part of Poland. Many of Szybalski's most significant wartime roles concerned a decidedly applied type of science: He cooked TNT so the Polish resistance could sabotage rail lines. He participated in smuggling typhus vaccine to Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. And he fed lice and supervised "louse feeders."