Jerome Nwachukwu, Ph.D.

Nwachukwu_lgTell us about your current career position.
I am currently a Research Associate studying gene repression via nuclear receptors in the laboratory of Kendall W. Nettles, Ph.D. (Dept. of Cancer Biology, Scripps-FL). It is a temporary post-doctoral position; therefore, I will soon be looking for a faculty position.

What are the key experiences and decisions you made that have helped you reach your current position?
I met Thomas Landefeld, Ph.D. (CSU, Dominguez Hills) who introduced me to Joel D. Oppenheim, Ph.D. (NYU School of Medicine). Dr. Landefeld directed the MARC/USTAR scholarship program, which allowed me to engage in undergraduate research at the Division of Endocrinology, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Oppenheim directs the Ph.D. program at NYU School of medicine and introduced me to Michael J. Garabedian, Ph.D. and Susan K. Logan, Ph.D. who were my Ph.D. thesis mentors. My experiences with these exceptional individuals were instrumental in reaching my current position.

How did you first become interested in science?
I am not sure. I might have been 3 or 4 yrs old when I learned the hard way that defying gravity requires more than a pair of outstretched arms. I still have the scar to prove it. 

Were there times when you failed at something you felt was critical to your path?  If so, how did you regroup and get back on track?
Not exactly – there always seemed to be more suitable alternatives.

What advice would you give to young persons from under-represented backgrounds who want to pursue a career in science similar to yours?
Seek advice before making important decisions and do not expect mediocrity to be rewarded.

What are your hobbies?
Playing soccer.

What was the last book you read?
“Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void” by Mary Roach

Do you have any heroes, heroines, or role models? If so, describe how they have influenced you?
Drs. Landefeld, Oppenheim, Garabedian and Logan are my favorite role models.  However, I often wonder if my career could one day become a correlate of John A. Wheeler’s career even though I do not exactly consider him a hero or role model.

What is it that keeps you working hard and studying science everyday?
I appreciate the opportunity to investigate human diseases and potential therapeutics on a daily basis with brilliant researchers at an outstanding research facility.