Future pediatric geneticist

Lia Boyle, P&S Class of 2019

As a liberal arts major at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Lia balanced multiple jobs to meet her financial expenses while managing the rigorous academic schedule of their Great Books program. Following graduation, she became interested in medicine while volunteering at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore. She was then hired as the Fragile X Research and Clinic Coordinator and became a member of the National Fragile X Foundation’s Membership and Infrastructure Committee. Her work led to first authorship of one publication and second authorship of another, both published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics. She loved the experience working with families in both a clinical and research setting and this cemented her interest in a career in medicine. She subsequently worked as a research technician at the University of Pennsylvania before completing the Post Baccalaureate Premedical Program at Bryn Mawr College.

Lia is passionate about teaching and held numerous volunteer and teaching assistant positions prior to enrolling at P&S in 2013. At P&S, Lia participated in the Medical Scholars Seminar during her first year. This experience convinced her to enroll in the MD/MS program. Lia was awarded a NIH Summer Research Fellowship position in 2014 working in the lab of Dr. Wendy Chung, as a result of which Lia was first author on a paper published in the American Journal of Human Genetics in 2016. She has continued her work with Dr. Chung and is currently doing her first of multiple research years in between her major clinical year and completing her final year of medical school. She recently presented at the inaugural International KIF1A Family Meeting, connecting families and researchers from across the globe who are working on this rare disease.

Lia is planning a career as a pediatric geneticist and looks forward to continuing her passion of patient-centered basic and translational research. Some of Lia’s extracurricular activities at P&S have included serving on the Executive Board of the Student Success Network and as an Ethics representative on the Class Council. She also has been involved with the Bard Hall Players, acting in many plays, directing Julius Caesar her first year, and serving as a past co-president. Additionally, Lia volunteers as a senior clinician in Q Clinic, Columbia’s student-run primary care clinic for the uninsured LGBTQ population in New York. She served as a Senior Student in the Foundations of Clinical Medicine class for students completing their major clinical year.