Rick Tumminello (MS/Biomed ’15)
Combining a Love of Science and Medicine
We each have entire worlds operating inside our bodies. That’s what initially drew
Rick Tumminello (MS/Biomed ’15) to study biology as a student at Cabrini College.
After graduation, he was unsure of what to do with that love of biology—should he
explore the research side, or the clinical side? He decided to enroll at PCOM, where
he would ultimately be exposed to both.
After enrolling in the Bio-Medical Sciences program, he began volunteering with Dianzheng
Zhang, PhD, associate professor, bio-medical sciences, who studies the effects of
Resveratrol on cancer cells. “I had an initial interest in oncology and molecular
biology,” Mr. Tumminello explains. “So when I saw that Dr. Zhang was conducting cancer
research, that really appealed to me.”
In addition, Mr. Tumminello has had the opportunity to work with students in the DO
program on research projects, and has been involved with the College’s Organizational
Development and Leadership program. “You begin to see how the basic sciences can support
osteopathic medicine through evidence-based research, and how the things learned in
the ODL program, such as system literacy and effective communication, will be useful
once we students enter into the professional world.”
During his time at PCOM, Mr. Tumminello has also served as class president, as the
first vice-chair of the Student Senate, and has helped manage the Student Government
Association’s annual Integrated Health Care Conference, designed to train attendees
from across disciplines on how to work together to deliver the best possible care.
The breadth of expertise that Mr. Tumminello has received at PCOM has helped him decide
to stay at the College after receiving his master’s degree and enter into the DO program.
To that end, he says he will have been able to fulfill his passions for both basic
science research and clinical care.
“My ‘A-ha’ moment was really when I was able to see the science that I love being
used to treat people and help them heal. I think that if I had gotten my master’s
degree anywhere else I wouldn’t have had access to that,” he says. “I can’t wait to
get started with the clinical portion of my training; it’s one thing to speak hypothetically
about a patient’s issue, but it’s quite another to be involved in real-life, making
a real difference.”