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Olga Astapova, MD, PhD

Why Did You Choose Endocrinology

In college I did some undergraduate research. Initially I thought it would be something to help me get familiar with the field of medicine and improve my chances of getting into medical school and I didn’t actually know what endocrinology was but I landed in an endocrinology lab and I very quickly fell in love with the research and with the field. I thought it was an elegant system, it fascinated me and I never wanted to stop studying it.

What Is Unique About The Program

I became interested in this program initially when I went on the website and looked at what sort of research is going on here and I saw that Dr. Hammes was studying insulin and the ovary; those two words in the same sentence don’t appear very frequently and it's something I’m interested in, so I really got interested in this program. The chair is an M.D./Ph.D., so am I. I thought it would be a good environment for me to stew in for a few years. And then when I visited, I had a really nice interview and felt like this could be my home.

How Would You Recommend The Program

I would say it’s a great clinical experience because we see a lot of everything; it’s a really busy hospital so there is no shortage of opportunity to learn clinical endocrinology. The program faculty are very friendly and approachable, that makes it easy to get along with everyone.

The Fellows tend to be a very tight knit group, it’s a small program and we kind of become each others family and I really like that. Obviously the research opportunities are important and this is a good research place.

What Have You Learned In Your Time Here

Obviously I’m working as hard as I can to learn as much as I can about endocrinology. There is a lot to learn. I can’t really pinpoint one particular thing.

What Do You Like About Living In Rochester

I like it here, I have good things to say, it is easy living, there isn’t a lot of traffic, and there isn’t a lot of stress. The cost of living is low, and I absolutely love my neighborhood. I live in Cornhill, a beautiful historic neighborhood with a tight knit community. People are very protective of it and excited about their neighborhood. I love brick houses and I’m surrounded by them and we have a fun festival every year.

There are some shows that come through that we try to catch, and it’s always easy to go out to a nice restaurant.

What Are Your Research Interests

My research interests are in reproductive endocrinology and I actually considered going into OBGYN for a moment, I’m interested in the ovarian development, particularly the role of insulin signaling in the ovary and the effect of androgens in the ovary.

What Are Your Career Goals

I want to stay in an academic environment and continue doing research. So I hope to settle down in a University type environment like this one where there are both clinical opportunities and a lab to run.