Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

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Gemel A Joseph

Ph.D. Biological Sciences

Hometown: St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

Undergraduate Institution & Year of Graduation: University of the Virgin Islands, May 2014

RPI Department: Biological Sciences

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Doug Swank & Dr. Blanca Barquera


Describe your graduate research and its purpose/applications.

My current work at RPI involves using Drosophila as a model organism to study and characterize Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection and virulence as influenced by sodium ion transport membrane proteins.

What are your hobbies and interests?

Kickboxing, pop culture, traveling, cooking & eating (anything with food, really), watching my favorite tv shows & movies

What made you decide to attend Rensselaer?

What separated RPI from other schools I was accepted to was its location. Troy/Albany area is about 3 hours away from many large cities including NYC, Boston and Montreal. I get to visit and travel to other cities at my will without having to actually live, work and study in a large, distracting and busy city full-time.

What are some benefits of being part of the Graduate Community at Rensselaer?

Smaller and tight-knit community as opposed to larger schools where you feel like a small fish in a big pond, novel and impactful research, collaboration opportunities.

What are your plans following graduation?

I plan to pursue a career in Research & Development in Industry.

What aspects of the Ph.D. program do you value most?

The training and skills I gain that are necessary for my growth as an independent and critical thinking scientist