Max Nowak, PhD LinkedIn

Senior Scientist


Max received his Ph.D. in Bioengineering from Harvard University, where he worked on developing a microfluidic model of the blood-brain barrier and studied the transport of macromolecules, nanoparticles, and immune cells into the brain. His research was supported by an NSF GRFP Fellowship and focused on how nanoparticle physical parameters (e.g. size, shape, and flexibility) influence transport. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, was recognized as a Commonwealth Honors College Scholar with greatest distinction for his thesis entitled “Tissue Stiffness and Breast Cancer Metastasis,” and holds an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara. 


Scientist Spotlight

July 2022

What is your role at Applied BioMath?

“I’m on the Biology Team. As we develop models to help drug developers make decisions, my role is to be the interface with the biology literature and make sure we have a model that’s representative of what’s going on in the underlying biological system.”

What do you love most about working here?

“I think Applied BioMath just has a good balance of everything. Everyone is really smart, kind, and excited about the work. The job offers a lot of flexibility, which is important to me. I’m able to work on a lot of different modalities at different stages of the pipeline, so I’m always learning.”

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

“I love when we uncover something that our client wasn’t aware of originally. Seeing the ‘aha’ moments where a light goes off and they’re able to fully understand what Applied BioMath can do and how we do it is really cool to me.

What made you get into the field of life sciences?

“I find biological systems to be very interesting. I really enjoy problem-solving, and think that biological problems are some of the neatest and most impactful ones to solve.”

What do you like to do in your spare time?

“I enjoy reading, hiking, and just generally being outdoors. My wife and I are also donut connoisseurs, so we like to go around and try new donut places in our free time.”

Do you have a motto or personal mantra you live by?

“As a parent, I’ve really come to appreciate ‘Done is better than perfect.’ I may not make the ideal pillow fort, but playing in my pretty good one is much more fun for the kids (and me) than watching me try to perfect it first.

If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?

“I would probably do a little travel and buy a new car, but honestly, I feel like I would just do boring stuff. Maybe upgrade a few things around our home like replace windows or add insulation, and then invest the rest.”

What’s a random fun fact about you?

“When I was younger, I was very involved in singing, and even got paid to sing professionally in the opera.

What inspires you every day?

“Seeing all the little ways that people can grow or help others. It’s reassuring to watch a toddler learn something new and surprising, or know that folks genuinely want to make someone’s life easier just because it’s a kind thing to do.”


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