Natalie's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Women In STEM

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Los Angeles, CA

NATALIE DURAN

Clinical Researcher/Professional Athlete
UCLA Health

“This is my chance to show people all around the world that women are stronger than people make them out to be.”

INTERESTS:

Action Sports Science

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Exploration Passion Confidence Hobbies & Pastimes Societal Pressures Struggle Community Planning Support & Encouragement

FOUNDATION:

Learning and Being Challenged

TAGS:

athletes, athletics, competition, confidence, education, exploration, facing fears, fun, growth, health, motivation, pain, perseverance, pressure, pushing boundaries, pushing yourself, rock climbing, science, social norms, strength

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Has a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from the University of California, Riverside.
  • Works as a medical researcher at UCLA, doing clinical research in gastroenterology and studying inflammatory bowel diseases.
  • Whenever school or work got hard, she always found an outlet in two things: vlogging and exercising.
  • She’d been rock climbing for three years when she first saw American Ninja Warrior.
  • She realized that although she knew a lot of strong women who’d have fun and do well on the show, there weren’t many women actually featured on the show.
  • As someone who was already comfortable in front of a camera, she saw an opportunity to blaze a trail for women on the show.
  • She’s competed on American Ninja Warrior twice; on her second attempt, she became one of the first women to advance to the finals.
  • Her advice for academic and physical training is: always take the time to explore new things, and find yourself a good, strong support base.

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