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Rick Sando ’09

Ph.D. Candidate, The Scripps Research Institute
Major: Behavioral Neuroscience

I was attracted by the opportunity to do independent research and lab work as an undergraduate. That's pretty unique.

The Proof Is In Our People

Why Rick Chose Rider

Small class sizes and close interaction with the science faculty made Rick’s decision to attend Rider an easy one. "Rider’s science faculty members are top-notch scientists. They know their students on a personal basis and continually offer advice regarding personal goals and career interests," he said. "I was attracted by the opportunity to do independent research and lab work as an undergraduate. That's pretty unique. I knew it offered a great opportunity to become a primary researcher driving a research project."

Rider's Impact on Rick's Career

The lab experience Rick gained as undergraduate at Rider made him extremely competitive when applying to graduate schools. As a sophomore, he began working in Dr. Phil Lowrey’s lab, studying how protein regulates the circadian clock in mammals. Through independent research, Rick developed the ability to come up with his own scientific questions, and design and execute experiments to solve those questions. 

"It was a great experience to work directly alongside Dr. Lowrey and to be trained by a professor  — someone who had so much research experience. It opened doors to so many other opportunities," said Rick. In 2008, he received a Howard Hughes Medical Institute summer research fellowship to work in the laboratory of Dr. Joseph Takahashi at Northwestern University. Rick’s research involved dissecting the molecular pieces of the 24-hour biological clock in humans and animals.

Continued Success

"That hands-on experience doing independent research and lab work at Rider was extremely advantageous for me. It accelerated my education in science by enabling me to think like a scientist and formulate questions and develop experiments to answer those questions," said Rick. "It put me ahead of my peers." 

Rick is now a doctoral candidate at The Scripps Research Institutes’ Kellogg School of Science and Technology, a top-ranked graduate program in the chemical and biological sciences. He is the first author of a study recently published in the journal Cell. The groundbreaking research reveals insight into neuroscience and cognitive disabilities. He has authored two other studies that are currently pending publication. He recently received a prestigious NIH Fellowship to continue his neuroscience research.

  • 3 Years 
    Years Rick spent as an undergraduate studying circadian rhythms in Dr. Phil Lowrey's lab.

  • Research Fellowship
    Rick was selected for a prestigious summer internship at Northwestern University.

  • 2 National Conferences
    As a Rider student, Rick presented research findings at two national conferences.

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It was a great experience to work directly alongside Dr. Lowrey and to be trained by a professor — someone who had so much research experience. It opened doors to so many other opportunities.

Rick Sando ’09
Behavioral Neuroscience