10 Gr5 8 CampingTrip FieldTrip PhillipPhillip joined the Nueva team this fall to teach biology and biology-related electives in the Upper School. He has been teaching science since 2009, most recently at the college level as an adjunct professor at Mercy College in New York, where he taught microbiology labs, general biology, and supported career development for undergraduate STEM students.

Throughout his career, Phillip has been an active mentor, tutor, and coach in math and sciences to high school students, including serving as a volunteer for Science Saturday at  Rockefeller University. He brings a wealth of research skills and experience to our biology offerings and is eager to team with his new colleagues on strengthening the core of our science curriculum. Philip is currently completing his dissertation defense at NYU in molecular biology. He has an MS in pharmacology (also from NYU) and a BS in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Maryland.

1. Can you point to a moment in your life that you knew you wanted to be a molecular biologist?

I can pinpoint a few moments. I did a summer internship at the University of Minnesota after my freshman year of college, working in a research lab in the area of cancer pharmacology, and it was really great. From there, I did more and more internships and really started to like research. I was torn between my love for organic chemistry and biochemistry. But when I went to graduate school, I settled on molecular biology.

2. What is the central tenet of your dissertation and how did you arrive your particular area of research?

My area of research is focused on regulation of protein synthesis as a means of understanding and combating drug-resistant breast cancers. I did not knowingly go into this field. By that, I mean I did not start graduate school with the idea that I would study breast cancer. I did a few rotations and landed in my lab and my project. I wish I had a more exciting story to tell.

3. What challenges are you most excited to take on as you join the Nueva faculty?

I am really excited about being an advisor this year. I think it will be really great to step into this role and help students where I can.

4. What are your hopes for your students as they develop their research skills and work individually and collaboratively in their biological explorations this year and beyond?

I just want the students to understand that studying science is hard but not impossible. I have no doctors or scientists in my family, and I was able to get a degree in science. It is about your drive and determination. Never let anyone tell you that science is not for you. Also remember that science is messy, and it is ok to be wrong sometimes.

5. If you were to reimagine some aspect of biology as a superhero or villain, who would it be and what would be their superpower?

Easy question. I would reimagine stem cell biology as Wolverine because he can heal himself, and this is what stem cells are meant to do. Heal the body.

 


 October 6, 2017

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