This is the seventh post in our “Meet a Scientist” series. Next up is Stephen Matthews, who just began his graduate studies at Penn State College of Medicine this semester.
Let’s get to know you a bit! Where are you from, what did you study in college, and what is your role at Penn State College of Medicine?
I’m originally from Honey Brook, PA and received my BS in Biology, with a minor in Chemistry, from York College of Pennsylvania in 2014. I recently just spent a year working for a private pharmaceutical company called DormaTarg Inc. out in Oklahoma. I am currently an entering student in the Biomedical Sciences program.
Why did you decide to become a scientist?
For the longest time as a child, I was interested in entomology and herpetology. I spent days outside catching insects, spiders, and snakes where I could, and reading about those I could not catch. I found AP Biology and AP Physics to be interesting in high school, but I became set on pursuing a career in science during my first biology lecture at York College.
I found the general topics to be interesting, but my professor had his degree in biochemistry and was really enthusiastic and excited over interactions and the molecular aspects of biology. His excitement passed on to me, and I have been interested ever since!
What do you research at Penn State, and why is it important?
I am currently working through the start of my first laboratory rotation, and have only been in Hershey since July. The rotation process is held so new graduate students can work in a lab for a few weeks and see how it is before we commit to working in one particular lab. It provides us with so many possibilities and skills that we can use as we advance our careers.
In my previous research experience, I have worked on the fall webworm caterpillar and its thermotolerance, as well as on developing pharmaceuticals.
What are some of your hobbies outside the lab?
Outside of lab and classwork, I love being outside. I regularly run, and love to hike, go camping and even play some Frisbee golf with friends when it is nice out. I also paint and enjoy playing video games when I can.
Tell us three random facts about yourself!
- I have a deep enjoyment of the theater and the arts, and have been an actor in a half dozen plays, and even directed and helped as stage crew during my undergraduate studies.
- When I originally moved to the southwest, I never thought I would miss much about Oklahoma, but I really do miss the massive thunderstorms there.
- I played the trumpet, alto, tenor and baritone saxophone, bass clarinet, violin and piano in concert, jazz and marching band, as well as orchestra… But haven’t touched any of those instruments in 4+ years.
Stay tuned for a new interview next week! And if you’re a Penn State College of Medicine scientist interested in participating, you can sign up here.