A recent MolTox graduate Kevin Ford is going to participate in a research project in the Department of Bioengineering at MIT. In his exit interview he shares the excitement for the future and provides an advice to the students at the beginning of their studies.
Q: What inspired you to join NST?
A: I completed a M.S. in toxicology at NYU and had decided to continue the academic journey by pursuing a Ph.D. After doing an internet search for toxicology Ph.D. programs in the US (in 2003) I was surprised to learn that Cal was starting a new Moltox program that year – the timing could not have been more perfect! I had lived in the Bay Area before moving to NYC and really loved it, so the combination of the wonderful opportunities that the Bay Area has to offer and the stellar reputation of the Cal faculty made NST my number one choice!
Q: What were the highlights of your experience here as a student?
A: Meeting interesting people, learning techniques in toxicology, having in-depth scientific discussions, feeling part of a group, having my opinion respected and valued. In addition, I chose to live in San Francisco throughout the degree program, which was a unique learning experience in itself!
Q: What did you like the most?
A: The chance to conduct important research that I was interested in and in charge of - it is a responsible and exciting position to be in. Being a GSI was great too.
Q: What did you dislike the most?
A: Studying for exams and the frustration of a failed experiment.
Q: What are your plans and hopes for your postdoctoral position in MIT?
A: My research project at MIT is in the Department of Bioengineering, so it will be very different from my graduate research at Cal! I hope to learn totally new techniques and alternative approaches to problems.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?
A: Working in the area of drug metabolism/pharmacokinetics, possibly for a government agency in the U.S. or for a major company in Europe.
Q: What is your biggest professional dream?
A: To get a job that pays of my student loans!
Q: What are your biggest personal dreams?
A: To strike a healthy balance between work and play.
Q: If you had a message for those students that have just started their graduate studies, what would it say?
A: Stick with it! Feeling that you want to give up and quit is something that every graduate student feels from time to time, it’s part of the course, so you are not alone!
Q: Anything else you'd like to share?
A: I'd like to thank everyone in the NST Department; I had a great time at Cal and would recommend the Moltox program!