Marina Mourtzakis was used to excelling in math and science when she entered a university lab for the first time. So it was a shock when “everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. Despite the mishaps, I enjoyed the experience and wanted to learn more and this led me into my current research career.”
Mourtzakis is now a highly regarded physiology researcher looking into ways nutrition and exercise can prevent loss of muscle for patients with chronic and critical illness. Her work with breast cancer and ICU patients has the potential to increase survival rates and improve overall health and quality of life.
“I was lucky to have mentors and parents who let me know that bad outcomes are part of learning. I’ve come to realize that great ideas come from exploration of unintended outcomes.”
Mourtzakis looks to colleagues who are just a little bit further down the road for advice and support with balancing work and life. You learn to let certain things go. Define what success means to you. Explore your passions and evaluate your own strengths regardless of what others might think.
Photo credit: One for the Wall