Career Preparation

The Scientist

Neil Patel '13
Biochemistry
Dyson College of Arts and Sciences
NYC Campus

The Dyson College of Arts and Sciences’ Biology and Health Sciences Department has been on the forefront of research over the years and students like biochemistry major Neil Patel ’13 have taken advantage of critical collaborations with faculty researchers.

“You have a one-on-one connection with the professor. You can pick a mentor and someone you want to conduct research with,” he says.

Patel’s mentor, Marcy Kelly, PhD, Dyson College associate professor and chair of biology and health sciences, helped him with lab techniques, performing experiments, writing scientific reports, and the hands-on research experience he was looking for.

“Most students don’t get involved in research until their junior year, but at Pace I was able to engage in research at the end of my freshman year, beginning of sophomore year,” says Patel. “Graduate schools want to see that you’re participating in a research program or a research position for longer than a six month period.”

Early preparation paid off for Patel, who was awarded the American Society for Microbiology’s 2011 Undergraduate Research Fellowship, an elite opportunity presented to the brightest rising young scientists. The ASM award is currently helping fund the research Patel and Kelly have been working on since fall 2010.  Studying the anti-microbial interactions within Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis responsible for nearly two million deaths each year, Patel hopes their research will help make progress on the development of vaccines to treat TB. He also travelled to San Francisco to present his findings to more than 8,000 microbiologists from around the world at the General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

In addition to the ASM Fellowship, Patel and Kelly were awarded a grant from Pace’s Undergraduate Student-Faculty Research Program to continue this research, and Patel also founded and was president of the Pace University Pre-Medical Society, which provides opportunities to students interested in pre-med.

“We want to connect students with career and research opportunities and also connect Pace with the outside. We want to have a career fair that exposes the skills of the Dyson College to different parts of the scientific community and show students that Pace can help them get somewhere,” Patel says.

Patel, alongside students Josie Blair ’14 and Josh Rivera ’14, and Professor Marcy Kelly also earned the rare opportunity to present their research on the impact of a molecule on the growth of a bacterium that causes tuberculosis at the 2013 American Society for Microbiology General Meeting in Denver, Colorado. Patel was the first author on the project.

Alumni Profile

Neil
Patel

"Most students don’t get involved in research until their junior year, but at Pace I was able to engage in research at the end of my freshman year, beginning of sophomore year."