Dr. Jasmine King
Dr. Jasmine King is a pharmacist and cancer researcher who has been intent on finding a cure for the disease since her teen years when her late grandmother was first diagnosed with breast cancer. After graduating from Person High School in 2008, she went on to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where she completed a dual Degree in Biology and Chemistry in 2012. From there she went on to the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Science where she earned a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree in 2018. Dr. King then came back home to the University of North Carolina to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmacoengeneering and Molecular Pharmaceutics. Upon graduating from UNC she will have a Ph.D and a Pharm.D and will then pursue a Doctor of Medicine Degree so that she will have the ability to treat patients, create cancer medicines, and research the disease. Her story tells that all things are possible for those who believe.
Q) What was your upbringing like in Person County?
A) I was raised by my grandmother and my older sister, Shireka. Growing up I was involved in a lot of sports and extracurricular activities. I played varsity basketball and softball from 9th grade to 11th grade and I was an all-conference softball player. I was also heavily involved with travel softball and I was recruited to play in college. But in 12th grade I stopped participating in athletics to help take care of my grandmother who was getting sicker. I also took this time to focus on what I hoped would be my future career; I took extra classes at Piedmont Community College and I interned at Person Memorial Hospital.
I’m a lifelong member of Greater Clegg’s Chapel Community Missionary Baptist Church. Growing up, our church really took an interest in nurturing the youth and we were blessed with so many different programs and opportunities for growth. Pastor Louis Cash, who has been my pastor my whole life, and his wife, Rev. Diane Cash, made a promise to my grandmother when she was dying that they would always be there for my sister and me, and they have been. Even to the point of driving to Charlotte for my sister’s graduation from grad school and flying to Boston for my graduation from MSPHC.
My childhood in this community was fun, but I have come to realize that during the time I was growing up, especially in high school, people of different backgrounds did not interact as much as we should have. Since I’ve gone to other places, I have seen how beautiful it is when people of different cultures mix and form friendships. I wish people my age had built stronger relationships with people who did not look like them.
Q) What is your career path and what are your proudest achievements?
A) Currently I am a licensed pharmacist in the state of North Carolina. My role as a pharmacist is to provide exceptional patient care and to make sure all medications are dosed and prescribed appropriately for patients.
As a research scientist my research focuses on using stem cell therapy for the treatment of primary and metastatic brain cancer in addition to primary lung cancer. I have had the opportunity to contribute to the scientific community by presenting my research at various national and local conferences and I have won first and third place for best oral presentation at two of these conferences. Within my two years at UNC I have been awarded two research grants totaling $27,000 to help fund and support my research. I am also a regular panelists for UNC Pharm D.’s LEAD program which offers seminars for high schoolers and undergrads who are interested in the medical profession.
Q) Why is it important that women be recognized for their foundational work in our community and our nation?
A) It is very important for women to be recognized because women of have been pioneers in science, education, law enforcement, and government. Women are a powerful asset to any team and we often wear multiple hats. Women are wives, mothers, often-times counselors, in-house doctors, prayer warriors and the backbones of the community and our households along with being high level professionals in our fields. We are phenomenal and we will continue to rise.
Q) What do you envision for the future of Person County?
A) I envision, if we are able to work together, a society that can reshape how communities function and interact. We can set the tone for providing quality education to all, pushing all of our children toward success, and providing economic opportunities for people of all education levels for this generation and generations to come.
Q) What is your advice for girls and young women who look to you as motivation?
A) Never let anyone tell you what you can’t do. No matter the color of your skin, education is something no one can take from you. Be driven from within because, if you are a minority, no one is going to hand you anything. Give 100 percent and after that give three more percent.