Alumni Profile: Amanda Kaminaris

Degree
B.S. ’16, M.S. ’18
Current Career
Mercy Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital—Physician Assistant, Maternal Fetal Medicine

A Clinical Education

As an undergraduate life sciences student, Amanda Kaminaris applied for NYIT’s undergraduate advanced research program thinking it would be a good résumé builder. Instead, biomedical research became a major part of her educational experience, continuing throughout her graduate study in NYIT School of Health Profession’s Physician Assistant (PA) program.

Kaminaris was paired with Qiangrong Liang, M.D., Ph.D., and Saturo Kobayashi, Ph.D., faculty members at NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine. They took her on as a part-time research assistant, and she worked on several projects exploring the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie acquired heart disease, cardiac hypertrophy, and heart failure.

“The research explored signaling pathways and mitochondrial dysfunction,” she says. “Initially, I was looking at whether a specific pathway affected the cellular process mitophagy, which is the degradation of mitochondria. We also looked at other pathways that lead to mitophagy to find whether autophagy is different than mitophagy.”

Kaminaris was first attracted to the work because of her clinical interest in cardiology and desire to better understand factors underlying heart disease. Although her career interests began to shift once she began her clinical rotations, her passion for the research remained. “I found I really loved clinical research,” she says.

In 2017, as a second-year PA student, Kaminaris received the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Graduate/Postdoctoral travel award to present research at the Experimental Biology 2017 Conference in Chicago. “It was a wonderful opportunity to share our work and to be exposed to research outside of NYIT,” she says.

Kaminaris completed her master’s degree in May and recently began working as a physician assistant focusing on maternal fetal medicine at Mercy Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital. “The NYIT program prepared me well for the board exam and the workforce,” she says. “But being a medical professional is a lifelong learning process,” she says.

And clinical research is definitely in her future. “There are just so many unanswered questions,” she says.