Activities: Chi Psi, Dance Marathon
What attracted you to Rutgers University and the Honors/Scholars Program?
The combination of the resources of a large research university and the small community atmosphere of the SAS Honors Program was a compelling offering, especially when considering the value of education vs private alternatives.
Why did you choose your major and minor?
I was interested in going to medical school or graduate school afterwards and the life sciences were always the most interesting subject to me considering they relied heavily upon many of the more basic sciences such as chemistry and physics that I was also interested in. It allowed me to learn broadly across the sciences to help address human disease.
Tell us a little bit about what you're doing now. What was your first job after Rutgers? Where you do you live?
After my undergraduate experience at Rutgers, I started my PhD in Biochemistry at UMDNJ-RWJMS which was then of course merged back into Rutgers. So I ended up getting a second and third degree at Rutgers to hang with my undergraduate diploma (MS in Computational Biology and Molecular Biophysics along the way to the PhD in Biochemistry). After my PhD, I started a healthcare hedge fund as an analyst and minority partner along with some folks with experience in the healthcare investing sector. I currently live near Woodbridge, NJ and work in Manhattan.
What has been your greatest professional and/or personal accomplishment since you graduated Rutgers?
My greatest personal accomplishment after graduating was getting my PhD and meeting my amazing wife along the way in graduate school. My professional life is only a few years old, but while in graduate school I was able to create a couple of cryptocurrencies with another graduate school colleague, Doug Pike. Together we created VeriCoin and Verium cryptocurrencies and had a very fun time learning to apply theoretical concepts in economics to the blockchain.
Was there a class and/or experience at Rutgers that led you to pursuing your current career?
My freshman year I took a class taught by Dr. Drew Vershon-- Intro to Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Research. That class taught some of the basic of molecular biology techniques and inspired me to do research under my undergraduate research advisor Dr. KY Chen. Those experiences combined showed me how much I loved laboratory research and pushed me to a PhD rather than MD.
What three words describe your experience at Rutgers and the Honors/Scholars Program?
Fellowship. Opportunity. Stimulation.
How has your Rutgers and Honors education benefited you in your post-Rutgers life?
My experience at Rutgers and in the SASHP showed me that you don't need to be at an elite private institution to succeed. It's been amazing watching my friends in the program to do amazing things as doctors, lawyers, scientists, business people, politicians, and more. Being able to have the opportunities most relate to private ivy league universities but with the resources, accessibility, and financial freedom of attending a state university has made it a very valuable experience to me.
What advice do you have for our current SAS Honors Program students?
Enjoy your time as an undergraduate. It should be the pinnacle of your own personal freedom and you should consider using it to explore things you have never done and may never be able to do later. Make lots of friends and don't try to aggressively compete with your peers because maybe for the first time in your life you are surrounded by people who are going to beat you in something and that is okay.
Are you a Rutgers Honors alum? Be featured in an upcoming Honors Alumni Spotlight by completing our online submission form.