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Tsehay Abebe, ’13


Cellular and Molecular Biology

Research Rockstar Targets Genetic Disease

When Tsehay Abebe, ’13, arrived at Seattle University, it was the first time she been outside her hometown in Ethiopia. Four years later, she graduated from the College of Science and Engineering with a 3.95 GPA, a bachelor’s degree in cellular & molecular biology and a four-year scholarship to one of the nation’s top medical schools, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Abebe showed an aptitude for research as an undergraduate, landing a coveted research position at the Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute, one of the region’s top research laboratories. There, her studies of beta cell repair involved groundbreaking molecular genetics work.

“Growing up, I was exposed to people who didn’t have access to health care,” Abebe says. “I have always wanted to be a doctor and I chose cell and molecular biology because I am interested in exploring the mechanisms of how the body works. I’m interested in research that has clinical applications and can be used to improve health for everybody.”