Phillip earned his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2019. He worked in Jennifer Linderman’s research group and focused on the development of mechanistic computational models to study cancer cell signaling, heterogeneity, and chemokine gradients with relevance to cancer metastasis. In collaboration with imaging experts in Radiology, the work uncovered mechanisms that drive cancer cells in homogeneous environments to heterogeneously activate downstream signaling effectors and predicted how certain targeted therapies may inadvertently potentiate pro-metastatic signaling. Phillip earned his BS in Chemical Engineering from Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY in 2014. During his studies, Phillip completed internships at Genentech (2013) and Boehringer Ingelheim (2017) to gain hands-on experience and to learn how chemical engineers can impact drug research and development.
What is your role at Applied BioMath?
“I am a senior scientist in the modeling group. I build the computational models our partners ultimately want as a deliverable.”
What do you love most about working here?
“I never feel like I’m the first person to come across a problem, which is satisfying. No matter how hard the question, someone else here has already faced that problem several times. Applied BioMath has a breadth of experience which helps new employees have confidence in their work here.”
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
“The most rewarding part of the job is being able to explain the seemingly unexplainable to the client. Sometimes a client will present their data to us with little or no understanding of the biological mechanisms driving it – just the observations. Our models can help explain why their drug behaves that way, and how they may be able to leverage the positive attributes to outshine their competitors."
What was your main area of focus during your academics?
“My main focus was mechanistic modeling of chemokine gradients and cell signaling heterogeneity.”
What made you get into the field of life sciences?
“I joined the field of life sciences because the teams in this field are interdisciplinary. Life sciences is a field being interrogated by experts in biology, medicine, engineering, and mathematics. Working alongside thought leaders in all of these fields is inspiring and motivates me to work hard every day.”
What do you like to do in your spare time?
“I have a handful of hobbies, most of which revolve around exercise. During grad school I ran five marathons, including the Boston Marathon in 2018. I recently took up a crossfit-style workout regimen as well. I enjoy pushing myself to my limits!”
Do you have a motto or personal mantra you live by?
“Don’t be afraid to jump in the deep end. Trying something new teaches you to be comfortable with failure. I apply this mantra to both my personal and professional life.”
If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
“I might go to medical school. That’s something I’d only ever do if money was no issue.”
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
“I'm independently passionate about great presentation skills. People with the ability to present effectively are more apt to influence decision-making. I enjoy attending workshops on how to present more clearly and how to get the audience to remember a presentation. This is one reason I chose to work for a consulting company. At Applied BioMath, I can develop my presentation skills further by communicating model predictions to clients.”
What inspires you every day?
“Observing other people’s success inspires me. Seeing the progression of someone go from a beginner to a highly-regarded expert keeps me motivated and shows me that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.”