Research at Hendrix

Jeff Porter '87

Jeff Porter '87

Chemistry major

Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, Mass.

Current projects

I oversee global departments (U.S., Switzerland, China) focused on drug target discovery across multiple disease areas.

Undergraduate Research

I had a summer organic chemistry internship at Duke University's chemistry department between my sophomore and junior year. I performed summer research between my junior and senior year studying proto-oncogenes in ovarian cancer at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. The latter research became part of senior research thesis.

How Hendrix prepared me for success

In many ways at Hendrix I learned how to learn … through great instructors, I came to appreciate the value of getting excited about a new area or topic that I was trying to master. The liberal arts education also challenged me to see the world from various perspectives, training that I think helps with the interpersonal interactions that have become a major part of my job. With regards to my scientific training, Hendrix provided me a very competitive but supportive environment to learn the basic principles of chemistry coupled with an introduction into genetics, a field I found particularly intriguing. My Hendrix-sponsored summer research experiences convinced me that my passion was at the bench doing biomedical research. This very positive undergraduate experience gave me the confidence to apply to top level graduate schools, leading me to the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where I enhanced my education through Ph.D. and post-doctoral training.

Future plans

As I was starting my early research career at Hendrix, I dreamed of being part of a team making key discoveries that resulted in new and innovative medicines. Through luck and some hard work, I now get to do this every day.

My advice

You can go wherever you want with an education from Hendrix.