Alexis Chidi's educational trajectory is emblematic of today's events, so it's fitting she should introduce President Barack Obama during the Frontier Conference’s plenary session. A little background on the vaunted speaker:
Chidi started her career at Pitt at just 16 years old, earning her bachelor's degree in psychology and economics. She was admitted through a special "freshman guarantees" program that admits high-achieving high school students to Pitt and promises them a place in graduate or medical school, as long as they keep their GPAs above 3.7, among other qualifications.
Now, Chidi is nearly finished with a difficult dual degree program—the MD/PhD—offered through a collaborative Pitt/CMU program called the Medical Scientist Training Program. She earned her PhD this spring in clinical and translational science from Carnegie Mellon University, and is on her way to finish her medical degree at Pitt in spring 2017. Chidi's work centers on addressing health disparities and developing cost-effective treatments, especially in the treatment of liver disease and liver cancer.
Read more about her early days in this 2007 Pitt Med magazine story, when she was still trying to decide between research experiences in California or health-related service in a politician's office during her summer off (she would eventually go on to do both, naturally). And be sure to watch her speech today on the livestream: http://www.frontiersconference.org/plenary
—Robyn K. Coggins and Elaine Vitone