By Justin Farris

Inside Phosphorus: Meet Rebecca, Research Scientist!

Hey Rebecca, tell us a little bit about yourself!

I grew up in Oswego, NY a small town in upstate NY that is mostly famous for the ridiculous amount of snow they get each year. I went to college at Niagara University, in Niagara Falls, NY and then went to graduate school at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. I received a PhD in Cell and Developmental Biology studying how neurons choose their synaptic partners in the roundworm C. elegans. After graduating, I did a postdoc at Johns Hopkins University studying salivary gland development in fruit flies. Now, I live on Long Island with my husband, 2 kids and our 2 cats.

What is your title at Phosphorus? What do you do for the company?

I am a Research Scientist. I take care of writing the IRB protocols and coordinating our clinical research studies. I have also written grants and helped out the variant curators with various projects.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I like the variety. We have several different products in the pipeline so it can change day to day depending on the needs of each project.

What have you learned from working at Phosphorus?

I have learned so much. The great thing about our company is that you have the opportunity to see all of the different moving parts that are necessary to launch a new product. Scientifically, I have learned about the genetics of inherited cardiovascular diseases, fertility, and cancer.

What has been your favorite project so far?

I really enjoy the clinical studies where I get to reach out to participants to get DNA samples that we can use to validate our new tests. I’m always amazed at how generous people are and how excited they are to participate. Most people are more than willing to take part if they know they can help to create a better diagnostic test.

What is your typical workday like?

No two days are the same. I try to do most of my writing projects and tasks that require the most concentration in the morning when my brain is the freshest.

Do you have a personal mantra?

Not really. I’ve always just tried to work hard and not limit myself.

Tell us something about you most people don’t know.

I’m an avid swimmer. As a grad student and post-doc I used to compete in open-water swimming races and triathlons.

What is one thing you are looking forward to in your free time this next year?

We just bought a house that needs a bit of cosmetic work. I’m looking forward to finishing up the painting and decorating on the inside and doing some landscaping and gardening outside.

Do you have any hobbies?

Most of my time outside of work is spent doing activities with my family. We enjoy doing outdoor activities like playing games in the backyard, going to the zoo or the park, riding bikes, and going for walks. We are looking forward to when the pools and beaches open this summer.

Which ice cream flavor best describes you?

Rocky Road – because I’m always up for a new adventure!

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