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David D.

PhD, Biology and Biotechnology

While pursuing his PhD, David has found that WPI’s creative approach to and focus on research has been a great asset to his education. By allowing research to transcend traditional boundaries of departments and academic fields, he has learned that there’s no reason a cell biologist can't work with a behavioral biologist, or a marketing student cannot find common ground with a chemical engineer.

Tanja Dominko, associate professor in biology and biotechnology, has provided David with a lot of insight and freedom during his time at WPI. She has enabled him to explore his own work in wound healing, metabolism, and regeneration without being contained to a single research paradigm. This flexible approach has benefited David as a critic, a critical thinker, and a scientist.

David Dolivo

Elgin, IL

Faculty Mentor
  • Tanja Dominko, Associate Professor, Biology & Biotechnology
  • Being accepted to a selective NIH summer internship program doing research in a government lab in Bethesda, MD, on nutrition and clinical oncology
  • Demonstrating improvement in explaining complicated scientific concepts and paradigms to others through research presentations, teaching courses, and giving guest lectures
  • IGERT Fellow
  • Guest lecturer for BBT classes
  • Worcester Regional Science and Engineering Fair judge
  • Project facilitator for Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day and Geek Is Glam
  • Summer intern at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)


9:00 AM

I start my day in Gateway Park, where many biology, biotechnology, and other sciences and engineering labs are.

11:00 AM

As a biologist, my experiments usually have long incubation times, so I’ll often edit scientific literature or analyze data while waiting for cells to grow or membranes to incubate in antibody.

1:30 PM

While on lunch break, I might meet with some of the undergraduates under my wing to offer assistance, or discuss research from other students—and even faculty—who solicit my help or particular expertise.

4:00 PM

Sometimes I’m asked to help with the operation, troubleshooting, and repair of scientific laboratory equipment, as well as stay up-to-date on training for how to use new equipment.

The WPI students are some of the nicest and accommodating that I have met in my academic career.
If I need advice on research, the faculty members are always available, but my fellow students also offer a wealth of knowledge, often with broad understanding of subject matter along with a very narrow specialization.
The willingness to participate in collaborative research, and the personal openness that comes from relating the work between diverse academic disciplines, are hallmarks of the WPI experience.