By Jacob G Scott
Interview with Dr. Reginald L. McGee II, Assistant Professor at College of the Holy Cross in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, and new member of SMB newsletter editorial board, about his research as a mathematical biologist.
Could you tell us about your research background, and how you arrived in your current position?
Much of my early work at Purdue was focused on deterministic modeling of signaling networks within B cells and I pivoted to developing methods for the analysis of blood cancer data during my postdoc at the Mathematical Biosciences Institute. I sought out a position at a liberal arts college after my postdoc because it gave me the balance of research and teaching I desired.
What attracted you to mathematical biology?
I really enjoy learning about medicine and physiology. I took a course in Computational Cell Biology with Dr. Greg Buzzard, who would become my advisor, and the rest is history!
What is something exciting that you are currently working on?
I am excited to visit colleagues at Virginia Commonwealth University and start new collaborations during my research leave for the 2020-2021 academic year.
What do you foresee as the biggest challenges in mathematical biology?
It might be a cliché answer, but “What do we do with all of this single cell data?”
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
“Learn version control.”
What is the best part of your job?
One of my favorite things is introducing unsuspecting Calculus students to the wide applicability of mathematics.
What is the worst part of your job?
The worst part of my job is probably trying to keep track of all my passwords or grading.
Where is the best place you have travelled for work? And why?
The best place travelled was Sydney for the 2018 SMB Annual Meeting! That was my first time leaving North America.
What do you do in your spare time?
I like board games a lot; “Catan Universe” and “Jackbox Party Packs” have been helping me survive the quarantine.