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Mark Xatse

PhD, Biochemistry

Mark has a passion for science and research. During his graduate work, his mentoring relationship with his advisor, Professor Carissa Olsen, has made an impact on his studies. “She has enlivened my passion for science,” he says. “She has helped me to be more confident about my opinions and ideas in my field of study. She has also helped me overcome the fear of failure in science. Failure is normal, but it is the lessons learned and the next line of action that is much more important.”

He enjoys his opportunities to work with undergraduate students during his course of study. He says, “I get to guide undergraduates in their project work as a graduate student. As a teaching assistant I also have the opportunity to lead discussions with undergraduate students in the general chemistry series. I love meeting people from all over the world and creating new friendships and relationships.”

It is WPI’s supportive community that Mark enjoys the most about being a PhD student. “Everyone is willing to help—from professors to colleagues, everyone is always available to help you with a wide range of issues,” he says. “This can be things like classes to take, troubleshooting experiments, discussing data, and coming up with ideas. People are also great about suggesting fun places to visit in the area and general fun activities on and off campus to make life comfortable. As an international student far from home, it is very encouraging that there are people you can count on for help when you need it.”

WPI’s project-based learning has given him a better grasp of his studies. “The curriculum gives an in-depth understanding of concepts," Mark says. "It also helps put in practice the concepts and theories, and challenges you to ask the questions that stimulate the development of new ideas.” 

He wants those considering studying at WPI to know about its supportive community. “This campus fosters research and learning, "he says. "The excellent training and resources at WPI also allow students to carry out innovative research and develop new ideas. WPI graduates, therefore, have the ability to take risks and solve problems.”

After finishing his PhD, Mark wants to continue researching and studying. He says, “My goal after graduation is to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship and eventually establish a career in academia where I can impart my knowledge and skills to the next generation of students.”

Portrait of Mark Xaste

Accra, Ghana

Faculty Mentor

Professor Carissa Olsen, assistant professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry 

  • American Institute of Chemists 2021 Outstanding Graduate Student Award for Biochemistry in the Chemistry & Biochemistry Department
  • 2018 Valedictorian of Accra Technical University
  • Soccer
  • Reading
  • Video games
  • Traveling
The excellent training and resources at WPI allow students to carry out innovative research and develop new ideas. WPI graduates, therefore, have the ability to take risks and solve problems.