Adam Claessens, COM ‘15

2012 TUC Alumni Association Scholarship Recipient

Adam ClaessensAn inaugural recipient of the TUC Alumni Association Scholarship, Adam Claessens hopes to pursue a residency in anesthesiology after he graduates from medical school. Read on to learn more about his academic achievements, community involvement, and how he likes to “rock out” in his free time.

Q: What did receiving the Alumni Scholarship mean to you?
A: I was honored to be recognized for my community involvement and academic achievement with the TU Alumni Association Scholarship.  My experience at Touro has taught me how much I value a small, tight-knit academic community like the one we have.  We are lucky to learn from outstanding faculty, and be surrounded by such accomplished and motivated peers!

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
A: I grew up in Allentown, PA and got involved in research during high school with my biology professor. Another student and I monitored the local river system for acid mine drainage and its effects on the fish population. In college at the University of Pittsburgh I got interested in medical anthropology and ended up creating a major that blended all the medical humanities with a typical premed science curriculum.  After graduating I moved directly to Seattle for an entry-level research job at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.  One thing led to another, and I ended up working there for six years.

Q: What are some of your accomplishments?
A: I'm most proud of my relationships with my friends and family, as well as those with my mentors.  Throughout college and now medical school I feel that every opportunity I had came from getting to know someone interesting, talking with them about their work, and getting involved. In 2005 I was a predoctoral fellow with the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM); my project involved drug interactions between herbal supplements and antidepressant medications.  The majority of my research is in pharmacokinetics, and I've been lucky to publish a few articles with my lab.

Q: What have you been up to since coming to Touro?
A: Here at TUCOM I am involved with ACOP Peds Club (treasurer) as well as Sigma Sigma Phi (admissions officer).  A group of us are also trying to get an Anesthesiology Interest Group up and running for next year. Last summer, I worked full-time in an anesthesia research lab at UCSF ( helping on a clinical pilot study on sleep disruption and postoperative delirium.  It was an amazing experience.

Q: What are some of your hobbies?
A: A lot of my free time (ha) goes to rock climbing.  I've been climbing all types of rocks since I was 15, competitively for a while, but now mostly as a discipline to stay mentally and physically fit.  I love climbing for the mind-body puzzles it presents, which can require a lot of determination and persistence to figure out.  It's also a great antidote to sitting for 8-10 hours a day, trying to absorb 50 more pathology slides into my information overloaded brain!