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What Inspires Me: Swim. Bike. Run. Heal.

Champion triathlete and medical researcher is helping develop and improve stem cell treatments.

jacquie godbe 2018 chicago triathlon
Northwestern doctoral student Jacquie Godbe crosses finish line at the 2018 Chicago Triathlon.

Summer 2019

Jacquie Godbe ’12, ’12 MS, doctoral student in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)

“As an athlete, you’re always asking, ‘What’s the next level? Can I do better?’ A lot of that relates to the field of medicine, to physical therapy. If I hurt myself training or I wonder why a muscle works the way it does, I break out my medical textbooks and look it up. At the same time, with triathlon training, I get hands-on experience that I can use to educate patients about their own wellness programs, their own nutrition, and how to do physical therapy and rehab for everything from plantar fasciitis to a sprained ankle. It’s a two-way street. Scientists and triathletes are interesting, passionate people. The fact that I get to interact with both on a daily basis keeps me coming back.”

Jacquie Godbe is a doctoral candidate in the lab of professor Samuel Stupp ’77 PhD at the Simpson Querrey Institute. She is helping to develop novel delivery materials for stem cell therapies. Godbe also works with patients at the Feinberg School of Medicine’s Education-Centered Medical Home and has mentored high school students as part of MSTP’s PRISM Outreach Program. Godbe, who was on the Northwestern swimming and diving team as an undergrad (see her 2012 All-Star Seniors profile), was an age group national champion triathlete in 2016 and 2017 and an age group world champion in 2017. She competed professionally in 2018 and 2019.

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