These days, Steve Warner has his nose buried in Molecular Biology of the Cell, but you can forgive him if occasionally he imagines himself in a boat on a Grecian lake.
After all, it is hard to forget Athens in August, the Mediterranean sun on the water and the cheers of thousands of Olympic fans.
Warner competed for the U.S. rowing team in the 2004 Olympic Games, and the memories may take awhile to fade even though Warner has immersed himself in his first year of the University’s challenging M.D./Ph.D. program.
A member of a lightweight four crew, Warner finished ninth in the second finals race after a week-long regatta. While he didn’t earn a medal, he did get a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“The four of us on the team trained together for years through several World Championships,” Warner says
“But it felt different at the Olympics. The quality of the competition was so much higher. There was much more pressure.”
Rowers don’t usually draw large crowds, but the audience for the rowing finals at the Olympics was close to 10,000.
“The crowd was amazing,” Warner says. “The four of us really built off of each other’s energy and confidence like never before.”
Warner is starting with a year of Ph.D. studies and is conducting research experiments in the laboratory of Gregory D. Longmore, M.D., assistant professor of medicine and of cell biology and physiology. Next year, he will start M.D. classes.
Warner graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor of science degree in cellular and molecular biology.
Then he worked at Bristol-Myers Squibb as a research associate while participating in rowing competitions.
“I was out of school for four years while training,” Warner says.
“Now, I’m on a different schedule. I don’t need to get up early every day to train, and I don’t have to keep such careful track of everything I eat.”
But, Warner isn’t likely to turn into a couch potato. He and two of his rowing teammates will be running in the New York City Marathon this month.