Victor Tseng
Fellow in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

Degree(s): Bioengineering (University of Washington) - now at UC Denver

Connection to PLC: I learned about PLC through a CU Boulder student rotating in our laboratory group. For me, generous and effective mentorship has been THE most important ingredient in shaping my growth in my quest to become a physician and scientist. As an undergraduate, I had several close mentors who not only served as role models inspiring me to follow my passion for biomedical science, but also opened the doors and cultivated the networks to make it possible. I hope to pass on this tradition of mentorship, to equip talented Colorado undergraduates with connections, ideas, and advice that will enable them to truly flourish.

Professional background, interests and expertise: I graduated from the University of Washington, where I was a first-generation student, with a degree in Bioengineering. I took a couple years off to explore various career paths, including work in the biotechnology industry in Seattle. During that period, I helped to develop the first rapid point-of-care diagnostic immunoassay for Dengue Fever. I then entered medical school at the University of Wisconsin. I finished my internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Emory University in Atlanta. I am currently completing my subspecialty training in Adult Pulmonology and Critical Care Medicine here at CU and National Jewish Health. In particular, I am training towards become a physician-scientist in respiratory diseases and fundamental lung biology.

As a physician and fledgling basic science researcher, I care for patients who are stricken by serious illnesses, and I am equally devoted to studying the underlying mechanisms of their diseases in the laboratory. I see patients in the ICU and general pulmonary clinic. The majority of my time, though, is spent in the Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research Labs at the Anschutz Medical Campus, where I am investigating the molecular and cellular processes that conspire to cause damage to structures in the respiratory system. My current project seeks to explore how the lung extracellular matrix is possibly a key player in causing harmful remodeling of blood vessels during periods of hypoxia, and thus an important part of the pathogenesis of pulmonary hypertension.

Hours available for mentoring per month: 8-10

Best professional advice: Being a physician is a deeply rewarding profession. It is a huge privilege to be invited into the lives of patients at their most significant and difficult crises of health, and to use a powerful set of skills to promote recovery - or at the very least, to alleviate suffering. There are literally infinite career trajectories in this field with endless variety. My friends and peers work as trusted small-town family practitioners, big city surgeons, teachers at academic institutions, in research labs, in hospital administration, leaders in quality improvement and patient safety, for NGOs and international relief efforts just to name a few. But there are always opportunity to make major positive impacts on the community around you.