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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

Justin Rowinsky '09

biology department

Justin Rowinsky

Justin Rowinsky says he decided to major in biology because of its applicability to everyday life. He points out, "When we get a cold, or when a family member suffers from heart disease, biology contains explanations." But what engages him most in the subject is experimentation and what he terms the "rational, pragmatic approaches" to understanding living organisms.

He chose to carry out his biological studies at Boston College because of the new research facilities and laboratories at Higgins Hall, and the favorably low ratios of faculty to students.

"The fact that they are low meant that I would be able to meet my professors one on one—they always have office hours, and most have an open-door policy," Rowinksy notes. (In addition to the faculty, he says, is "an excellent administrative staff that is helpful with everything from registering for classes to contacting professors in order to conduct research."

Rowinsky adds that the student-faculty ratio also opens up greater possibilities for research under the tutelage of professors. Beginning in his sophomore year he worked in Professor Marc-Jan Gubbels' lab in Higgins, conducting research on the parasite Toxoplasma gondii.

"When I started in the lab I worked with a graduate student who taught me lab techniques and introduced me to Toxo," he relates. "I assumed control of an independent project in the spring of 2007 and worked on it" until graduation. He also pointed to the many opportunities for research and collaboration with other laboratories in the Boston area.

Rowinsky is now working as a research biologist at Merck in Boston.