The New American 2017-2018: Our Alumni Magazine
Laboratory Genetics and Genomics (LGG) Fellow, National Human Genome Research Institute
Carolina's family fled Colombia and sought political asylum in the United States
Fellowship awarded to support work towards an MD/PhD in Medicine and Genetics at Johns Hopkins University
Carolina Montaño is a pediatric clinical geneticist and currently a Laboratory Genetics and Genomics (LGG) Fellow at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI/NIH), where she serves as Chief Fellow. She completed her pediatric residency at Boston Children’s Hospital, and then enrolled in the Clinical Genetics and Genomics residency training at NHGRI. She graduated from the MD/PhD program at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2017. Her PhD was in Human Genetics.
Carolina was born in Barranquilla, Colombia. Her father, a civic leader in the Magdalena region, was targeted by terrorists and the family fled to Florida on an asylum status. She is a naturalized citizen.
Though having completed three years of medical education in Colombia, Carolina was required by the American system to complete a bachelor's degree, which she did in neuroscience and molecular biology at Brigham Young University. There she attained a perfect 4.0 average, graduated summa cum laude and served as Commencement speaker.
With an NIH scholarship, Carolina spent two years at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases prior to enrolling to medical school. After completing medical training and pediatrics residency, she returned to NIH, this time at the National Human Genome Research Institute, to train in the emerging field of medical genomics. Her long-term goal is to understand the role of DNA methylation and chromatin alterations in disease and to bring those insights back to the clinical care of patients with rare diseases.
Carolina is realizing her dream of becoming clinician and a researcher. She sees medicine not only as a lifestyle, but also a vocation. She also sees her career as providing a role model for the Latino community "whose youth is in particular need of role models and mentors in scientific and medical careers.