Leah Laageide, BA, M3

Emory D. Warner Fellow

Leah Laageide


Department of Pathology
1080 Medical Laboratories
500 Newton Road
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242-1109

Lab: 319-335-7630

As a native of Norway and daughter of two retired Navy pilots, my family heritage has always influenced me to pursue new adventures in life. Thus, I am not surprised my path led me to medicine: the field that offers continual opportunities for personal and professional growth.

At the age of 12, following my recent move from Norway to Okoboji, IA, I was first introduced to courses in science - chemistry and biology. Challenging, but intriguing, these courses served as my motivation to quickly learn English and integrate into the new learning environment. My academic career continued at St. Olaf College, the Scandinavian-influenced institution, where I did not immediately pursue a “pre-medicine track.” Rather, I embarked on major in psychology secondary to an interest in human behavior and diversity gained from my cultural transition. Through later coursework in biopsychology and neuroscience, I realized my interest in human physiology and joined the St. Olaf Speech and Cognition Laboratory. My college graduation followed with 3 years of clinical works as a medical scribe in emergency medicine and a medical assistant in dermatology throughout Minneapolis, MN and New Orleans, LA.

In 2015, I returned to my original state of residence and am now a 3rd year medical student at the Carver College of Medicine. Wanting to better understand the physiology of skin and the molecular basis of its diseases, I began studying the pathophysiology of Bullous Pemphigoid (BP) under mentorship of Dr. Janet Fairley and Dr. Kelly Messingham in the Department of Dermatology. By studying the cytokine profile and T cell involvement in BP, I have developed an interest in autoimmune diseases and have chosen to pursue the Emory D. Warner Research Fellowship in Dr. Nitin Karandikar’s laboratory. I also believe this research experience will teach me think more critically and holistically about patient care as a future physician.