Since his graduation in 2005, Justin Piro went on to earn his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Dartmouth College and is now employed as a postdoctoral scientist at Pfizer. His work in the Neuroscience Research Unit has him examining neurodegenerative diseases and developing therapeutics to target those diseases. While a student at Eastern, Piro took full advantage of all that the biochemistry major had to offer, from small classes and personal attention to hands-on work in the lab.
“The majority of my classes included a strong lab component,” said Piro. “I was doing what a scientist does — getting outside a classroom setting, working with new equipment.” His hard work in the lab led to a spot in a summer research program at Wesleyan University, where he was one of 30 students performing biochemical and biophysical experiments and presenting data at weekly lab meetings and international conferences. Back at Eastern, Piro continued to prepare for the next step in his career, working as a teaching assistant and a laboratory technician and performing a complex project through his Research Methods class.
“Eastern really set the groundwork to allow me to go to graduate school.” Piro felt that the university gave him a comprehensive education, starting in the classroom with the theoretical base and then moving into the lab work, all with the support of a committed faculty. “They go above and beyond, talk to you about your career goals and make sure that you feel good about the path that you are on.”