By Kerry Steinhofer
“I came to Centre College knowing I wanted to study biochemistry, but I didn’t know what I would do with that after Centre,” alumnus Benjamin Gowen ’09 said. “When I started working with John C. Walkup Professor of Chemistry Jeff Fieberg, I was almost immediately hooked on ‘doing’ science, not just learning about it.
“The research experience at Centre helped me to get two summer research internships off campus and helped me find the right program for graduate school,” he continued. “Right after graduating from Centre, I started working on my Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley.”
The work Gowen did during his time on and off campus has led him further on his path of success after Centre, which includes having an article recently published in the science journal Nature.
“This was a team effort, and I’m proud to have been a part of it,” he said.
The article was a result of a collaboration with Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology Alex Marson’s lab at the University of California, San Francisco.
“A Ph.D. student from that lab, Dimitri Simeonov, and I shared the lead authorship of the paper,” Gowen added.
“It’s very rewarding to finally have the article published. Science takes a lot of time, and it’s never really ‘finished,’ but having an article published is a nice milestone to reach.”
Gowen is currently continuing his work as a post-doc in Jacob Corn’s lab at the Innovative Genomics Institute and University of California, Berkeley, where he’s been the last two years. He has also recently founded a biotech startup applying CRISPR gene editing technology in agriculture.
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