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Meet Dezmond

A musician turned scientist, Dezmond Cole is a Ph.D. student in the Biochemistry, Cellular & Molecular Biology program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In the lab of Dr. Erin Goley, he is using biochemical, cell biological, and genetic approaches to understand how tick-borne intracellular pathogens hijack the host cellular machinery during infection.

Entering university as a classical vocal performance major, Dezmond initially had intentions to pursue a career in opera. Despite being interested in the disciplined, creative endeavor of music since adolescence, he realized that scientific innovation requires those same qualities and ultimately decided to pursue a career in research. Dezmond graduated from the University of Montevallo with a B.S. in Biology, as a Leadership Alliance Scholar, and as a Princeton MOL BIO Scholar.

As a PHutures Fellow, Dezmond takes on a strategic advisory and project management role to tackle issues pertaining to career design and education, equitable opportunities for doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows, and innovation in higher ed. Here, he is closely examining and cultivating university-wide initiatives and partnerships to identify innovative ways that the university can better prepare doctoral students for the evolving career landscape.

In addition to serving as a PHutures Fellow, Dezmond also leads the Johns Hopkins Science Policy & Diplomacy Group, a trainee-led organization committed to data-driven science policy and diplomacy that strengthens the research enterprise and safeguards public health.

He attributes his successful career transition in college to the many strong, influential women in science who went out of their way to be not only supportive, informative mentors, but also advocates for underrepresented minorities in STEM.