Faculty Spotlight: Jessica Evans, PhD

Dr. Jessica Evans serves as Assistant Professor of Microbiology at Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Dr. Evans began her career as an undergraduate research assistant at Idaho State University where she received her B.S. in Microbiology in 2009. She went on to receive her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City, South Dakota. She desired to be back in her “Idahome,” and returned for a Postdoctoral Fellowship with the Idaho Veteran’s Research and Education Foundation in Boise, Idaho.

Dr. Evans’ research interests include investigating the cellular response of multi-drug resistant bacteria to cell wall active antibiotics. Additionally, she is interested in the DNA-damage response from bacteria and archaea to damage from UV and ionizing radiation. Dr. Evans is excited to bring her research to ICOM.

Q: What inspired you to pursue a career in medical education?

A: I’ve loved science since I was a little girl. I love learning about it, I love talking about it, I love doing it. So when I began my undergraduate studies, I thought I would be a world renowned scientist gunning for a Nobel prize. I learned early on that the best way to learn a topic is to try and teach it to someone else. You’re pursuing a different level of understanding when you seek to break it down for others. I also realized that I was pretty good at teaching. Since that time, I’ve always sought opportunities to integrate teaching and mentorship throughout my own education and beyond.

Q: Why did you decide to work for ICOM?

A: When I moved to Boise for a postdoctoral fellowship in 2018, I really fell in love with the area. When the opportunity to come and teach at ICOM presented itself, I jumped at it. I could stay in a science career in an area I loved at an incredibly collaborative and supportive educational institution. I am so excited to be here!

Q: What is the best part of your job?

A: The best part of my job is pretty much everything right now. I find so much fulfillment in teaching and receiving feedback from students. This school is centered on student success, and every day I feel empowered to learn and grow in order to support students more effectively.

Q: What advice do you have for ICOM’s student doctors as they prepare to become physicians? 

A: My advice is to embrace learning. I know this seems like a brief step on the long journey to become doctors, but the best physicians never cease their education. Ask questions, learn, and train your brains to remain open. You won’t regret it.

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