Phil Brooks (‘14) virtually visits IRP

Hackley alum Phil Brooks (Class of ’14) virtually visited our Independent Research Program on Wednesday April 22, 2020.

Although virtual, Phil gave a powerful presentation on the lessons he’s learned during his path from his undergraduate degree at Princeton, to becoming a first year graduate student in the Chemistry Department at Harvard. Students were excited to hear about the three different laboratory rotations he has done while at Harvard, and enthralled by his current work to visualize real-time electrical signals along nerves.

However, it is the lessons he’s learned that he has passed along that resonated with our students. His stories of his arduous senior project, which ultimately led to a published paper, was filled with disappointing moments, and taught him how perseverance is a necessary trait to pursue scientific research. One student reflected that “I also thought his emphasis on the interdisciplinary nature of science was really important and how as a chemistry major/PhD candidate he still does a lot of bio and physics. This made me excited to do more work across the 3 sciences as I get older.” Phil, thank you for visiting our class, and best of luck to you and your studies.

All alumni/parents with present or past experiences in scientific research have a standing invitation to back and visit the Independent Research Program. Our future scientists love hearing your stories, and these talks are formative to their careers. If you are interested, please reach out to Dr. Andrew Ying (