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Dr. Kevin Broadbent, Associate Teaching Professor, Biotechnology

Could you tell us about your research and experiences?

I am currently an Associate Teaching Professor in the Biotechnology Professional Science Masters and Training at Northeastern University with an appointment in Chemistry and Chemical Biology in the College of Science. I truly feel my experience has made me able to significantly contribute and work with graduate students who are wanting to pursue a career in Biotechnology. I am a trained Neuroscientist; whose background is in neuropharmacological and Developmental Neurobiology. I completed my postdoctoral fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) and Harvard Medical School, where the greater part of my research was to understand and gain insight into the pathogenesis of Sudden infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), relating to abnormalities in the serotonin (5-HT) and GABAergic Medullary system. Following my initial work and being promoted to junior faculty at Harvard Medical School, I was one of the project-leads on a 5-year funded project for soft tissue and variable body fluid assay development utilizing proteomics to profile, detect and validate candidate biomarkers in SIDS infants. This work allowed us to combine neuropathological, cell and animal modeling through collaboration and biochemical studies with high through-put technology previously not done in SIDS research.

What drew you to your field?

Neuroscience just really keeps me curious, the nervous system is fascinating, being able to focus on the science and biology of the brain, be it normal development or diseases pathogenesis.  It started when I volunteered in undergraduate study in a laboratory studying Schizophrenic postmortem changes in the brain. Just working to answer questions about this specific disease, how small changes leads to major changes, challenging but exciting at the same time.

What do you like most about being a faculty member at Northeastern?

I think being a faculty member in the Life Sciences at Northeastern University is very exciting and a great place to work. The staff around the university are nice, helpful and willing to help you out or point you in the right direction. The team in Biotechnology and COS are outstanding. It’s a great collegial environment, with numerous opportunities to develop as a teaching professional. I like challenging students, but also encouraging them to continue to be forward thinking and want to make an impact on their field of work. The best part of being a faculty member at Northeastern is the interaction with the students. I really enjoy the mentorship aspect of teaching. I have the privilege of teaching students from across the globe, in varying disciplines and life perspectives. I learn just as much from my students as they do from me.

What is your favorite part about Northeastern?

My favorite aspect of Northeastern is being able to interact with talented and innovative colleagues on a really dynamic campus and just being able to learn by doing. I love being connected to a city with so many other young people – students and working professionals. The university is a pretty great and unique place to be both as student and faculty, it’s a place where you can encounter and enjoy many diverse experiences.

What is your favorite part about Boston?

Counting down the days to spring, early summer and fall; which means I can ride my bike, get ready for baseball season and think about what new grilling recipes to try and relax in the green spaces. But being able to walk a few blocks and either experience something cultural, a good restaurant or take in a game.

What advice would you give to new and current COS graduate students?

In graduate school, you will become your own teacher and your own motivator. Most training is done informally in laboratories and/or in the field rather than in the classroom. Every student comes to the program with different abilities and experiences, don’t forget that as you progress, build upon rather than rebuild.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

In my spare time, when I am not trying to figure out what new movie to catch up on, I like redoing old furniture from flea markets, you tend to find some really cool stuff there.

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