Meet Antonio Mele Fall 2022 Beyond the PhD Campus Ambassador

I am passionate about lifestyle medicine and translating advances in precision medicine into specific disease treatments and preventative strategies. As an aspiring Genetic Counselor, I seek to uphold the privilege of creating a scientifically informed and personalized healthcare experience, being there for others in their times of utmost need and vulnerability. I first discovered Genetic Counseling through Beyond the PhD’s Career Discovery Seminar series. Jennifer Stroop, MS, CGC, did an excellent job showcasing the field of Genetic Counseling. After attending this seminar, I felt drawn towards this career, and had a greater understanding of how to become a Genetic Counselor, and of the numerous employment avenues within the field. Since then, I have attended many case conferences and have done a few informational interviews with Genetic Counselors.

My desire to improve the healthspan and lifespan of others has fueled my academic development in the sciences, my experiential learning in the laboratory, and my unwavering dedication to living a healthy lifestyle.

My passion for wellbeing began in 2018 when I started my undergraduate degree at the University of Central Florida (UCF). While there, I discovered my deep interest for nutrition, genetics, and molecular biology. During my time as an undergraduate I had the opportunity to work in multiple molecular biology research labs, where I learned valuable skills including how to independently plan, execute, and interpret an experiment. I was also fortunate enough to have great Principal Investigators that cared about my development as a scientist and science communicator. Thanks to my mentors and funding from Student Government, I have presented my research in poster format at several local, national, and international conferences.

Antonio Mele

Since graduating with my Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences in 2021, I have returned to UCF to study Clinical Psychology. My goal in doing so is to expand my knowledge of the psychosocial aspect of disease management. In addition to taking classes, I work full-time as the Lead Teaching Assistant for Quantitative Biological Methods, and I volunteer as a Crisis Counselor with Crisis Text Line. I believe that all my experiences to date have positioned me to become a competent and empathetic healthcare professional.

Beyond the PhD’s Ambassador Program has opened my eyes to the wide variety of roles that a Genetic Counselor can fill, as well as other non-traditional careers in STEM. As a Campus Ambassador, I seek to raise awareness of non-conventional career opportunities in STEM-based fields and to connect trainees with established professionals.

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