Career Center

In the Spotlight: Mario Galarreta, MD, PhD

"Take time to explore what makes you happy, apply your skills and background to a variety of challenges, and trust your instinct"

Stanford Affiliation: Senior Research Scientist
Department: Comparative Medicine
School: Medicine
Degree: MD, PhD, MFA candidate
Industry: Media
Video Production Manager
Location: Google, Inc., Mountain View

"Do I see myself doing neuroscience for the rest of my life? That is the question I asked myself after a successful 15-year long career that had brought me to Stanford. The answer was no. I had enjoyed science immensely for many years but now I had the feeling that it was time to open a brand new chapter in my life. Maybe it was the time to pursue my passion for filmmaking... But how can do you do this when synaptic transmission and pair recordings in mice neocortical slices is the only thing you've been doing for the last 10 years? Well, I decided to trust my instinct and started taking evening filmmaking classes in City College. I loved them. Then, I applied for an MFA in Cinema and got accepted at San Francisco State University. The moment of the big decision had arrived. I quit my job at Stanford and enrolled the filmmaking program! Three years later I'm preparing my first feature film and working at Google as a video producer. What happened in between? Tons of things, but most importantly, my realization that you can really do anything if you give yourself the chance to do it, let go your fears and trust yourself. I found out that as an MD and PhD, I had developed analytical, managing and communication skills that can be applied to any kind of problem. It's really that simple. Just trust your guts."

Mario Galarreta
October 2009

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