About Danilyn M. Angeles, PhD
This sounds familiar, but growing up as the oldest child in a poor family, I have always thought that I could improve my future and do the most good by becoming a physician. I listened and admired missionaries who came to my church who extolled the virtues of mission work. Thus, I made it my goal to become a missionary doctor to one of the countries in Africa. I thought myself capable; after all, I had graduated class valedictorian, received a 99.96th percentile score in my college entrance exam and was offered a full scholarship to the most prestigious university in my country.
However, God had other plans – and His plans were better than mine! My father was called to serve as a literature evangelist/minister to the United States, and immediately after my high school graduation, my entire family immigrated to the United States. That event, in itself, was like winning the lottery! However, due to lack of resources, my father asked me to pursue a nursing degree instead of the medical degree I had planned for. I started nursing school at the age of 16 and began my nursing career at the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the age of 19.
I worked in the NICU for 20 years in different capacities: bedside nurse, transport nurse, educator/lecturer and nurse manager. I remember caring for highly unstable babies in a leer jet, in a helicopter and in the back of an ambulance with sirens blaring. I became an expert in the clinical care of premature infants, and began looking for ways to improve their care. But, more importantly, caring for these neonates nurtured my interest and passion for science. It provided me with the impetus and energy to pursue a degree in physiology.
I obtained an NIH grant two years after graduating with a PhD in Physiology and was offered a position as a faculty member at the School of Medicine. This was followed by three more NIH grants. And it soon became clear that God’s plans were better than mine. Although my dream of becoming a missionary doctor in a foreign country did not materialize, I found out that serving God locally in the dual role of teacher and researcher is even more gratifying. My goal in this role is to serve as Jesus serves and love as Jesus loves. My aim is to perform my duties to the best of my abilities, knowing that if I "put my trust in Him, He will show me the way I should go."