Mary Broering, ’18: Pediatric Research Co-op Ignites Passion for Health Care Career

Behavioral and Natural Sciences, Health Sciences, Biology, Physical Therapy

By: Megan Simmermeyer

File Under: biology, cincinnati children’s hospital medical center, co-op, doctor of physical therapy, graduate school, research

Mary Broering, ‘18

Mary Broering has always enjoyed interacting and helping with others and she wanted a career that would allow her to do just that. Her years at the Mount provided opportunities to explore her interests and pursue her career goals.

 During her undergraduate years at Mount St. Joseph University, Broering participated in a co-op position with the Oncology Research Department at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. As a co-op, she assisted in a study focused on children and young adults with vascular anomalies. Its purpose was to identify biomarkers, which track normal biological processes, in blood serum from children and young adults with vascular anomalies. Broering said that the research could lead to advancements in diagnosis, prognosis, and assessment of patient responses to therapy. For her part in the research, Broering was responsible for operating the enzyme-linked immune assay (ELISA) laboratory tests, which allowed her to quantify biomarkers in patients’ blood serum.

  After her two years with Children’s, Broering said the team’s results showed that they had potentially found biomarkers associated with several vascular anomalies. The researchers hope that their findings will lead to the elimination of risky invasive procedures like biopsies to diagnose vascular diseases in children and young adults. “Exciting breakthroughs such as this allowed me to see how rewarding scientific medical research and the healthcare field are,” Broering says.

 In addition to her co-op with Children’s, Broering participated in the Pre-Health Professions Club, where she served as co-president for three years. During her years as co-president, she worked closely with the Health Professions Advising Committee and took on a significant leadership role, which she said was instrumental in preparing her for graduate school. She also mentored students at the Writing Center as an upperclassman where she further realized her enjoyment of helping others.

 In May of 2015, Broering graduated from Mount St. Joseph University with her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, but she chose to continue on to graduate school to complete her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree immediately following undergraduate school. Broering says, “The wonderful support, guidance, and enthusiasm from my professors helped me feel confident in my choice to pursue a career in physical therapy.” Her experience at her co-op also informed her decision to continue her education, and she gained greater skills in communication, team work, professionalism, and responsibility that helped prepare her for the graduate level and eventually, a career.

 After graduating from the DPT program in May 2018, Broering plans to pursue a career as a pediatric physical therapist and become involved in pro bono work in the community. She would like to travel the world as a volunteer doing PT-related work. “I am very excited to see what my future holds as a physical therapist,” she says.

 Visit the Biology page on our website to learn how to earn a Bachelor’s degree like Mary Broering, and check out the DPT program page for more information on the Mount's Doctor of Physical Therapy program. See all the opportunities available at our Cooperative Education program webpages.