Meet undergraduate Nicholas Tambini

Nicholas Tambini
Nicholas Tambini

Nicholas Tambini is a 5th year senior allied health sciences major and molecular and cell biology minor. Nick has switched his career path three times during his college career, and he is thankful for the adaptability of the allied health program, which has made his transitions virtually seamless. He now plans to apply to medical school upon graduation. When he is not in the library, Nick can be found in the Kohan lab doing research, singing with his a cappella group, A Minor, or in the Hawley Armory practicing the martial art of Muay Thai.

What attracted you to UConn? The environment that surrounds UConn is really what attracted me to the University. This may sound cheesy, but when I came down from Massachusetts for a tour, I felt at home. I also really enjoyed the fact that UConn had so many clubs and organizations. I was very involved in high school and planned to stay engaged during my college career.

What is your major, and why did you choose it? My major is allied health sciences. I chose allied health because of its versatility. I knew I wanted to go into healthcare but was not set on a career coming into UConn as a freshman. Allied health allowed me to switch my career path multiple times without the stress that typically comes with major academic changes.

Which one of your UConn activities, internships or jobs was the most memorable? Why? My most memorable UConn activity would have to be singing in an a cappella group. The past four years in A Minor have defined my extracurricular life in college. Not only has singing been an incredible stress reliever for me, but it has also allowed me to make lifelong friendships with the members of the group. I also served as A Minor’s president for two years which gave me great experience in an executive position. In 2017, we competed in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) and ended up placing first in Connecticut and in the top 10 in the Northeast region. This performance by our group is one of my proudest accomplishments to date.

Name two other experiences that have enriched your studies. Having the opportunity to do research here at UConn has enriched my academics. I joined the Kohan Lab in the spring of 2017. Since then, I have been working with graduate students as well as other undergrads to study immunometabolism and its effect on inflammation as well as chronic inflammatory diseases like colitis. This research allowed me to receive a SURF grant for an independent project, which I completed this past summer. I will be presenting the findings this spring at the Frontiers poster symposium.

Another experience that was very memorable was going on two medical brigades to Nicaragua and Panama through the organization Global Brigades. A group of roughly 25 UConn students and I set up medical clinics alongside bilingual doctors in remote communities that had minimal access to healthcare. Each brigade saw over 600 patients. These experiences were incredibly eye-opening and rewarding.

What was the biggest challenge in your UConn career? The biggest challenge in my UConn career was learning how I studied best. Studying in high school is much different than studying in college, and, unfortunately, I learned that the hard way my freshman year. A combination of the resurgence of my motivation and taking organic chemistry in the fall of my sophomore year allowed me to spend countless hours in the library and learn how to study as efficiently as possible.

When do you expect to graduate? What then? I will be graduating in May 2019. After that, I plan to take the MCAT and apply to medical school. I want to get my EMT certification and either work in an ambulance or an emergency room during my gap year.

Is there anything else you would like us to know about you? This semester I joined the UConn Muay Thai club. Muay Thai is a martial art coming from Thailand that focuses on striking with the hands, elbows, knees and legs. I would recommend martial arts and specifically Muay Thai to anyone who wants to relieve stress and challenge themselves both physically and mentally.

By: Thomas Krumel