Jeff Townsend shares: “I was privileged to have the opportunity to talk to students at SPS as a speaker in the Lovejoy Lecture Series in May 2019. Hosted by SPS science teacher Sarah Boylan, I visited classes during the day, discussing life and career in the sciences, and in my evening lecture, talked to students and faculty about current research sequencing tumors and how the data can be used to quantify how important each mutation is to the process of cancer development, and how that knowledge can guide cancer drug development. One graduating senior asked an excellent question after my talk and will be a visiting student in research, investigating that question in my lab this summer. In February, I was elected to membership in the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, which cited my research developing innovative approaches to population biology, including the evolution of antimicrobial resistance, disease evolution and transmission, and evolution of tumorigenesis; and research that has enabled curtailment of pathogen evolution, outbreak mitigation, and informed therapeutic approaches to cancer metastasis and evolution of therapeutic resistance in cancer. Members of my laboratory and I discovered a mathematical relationship that quantifies how important each mutation is to the reproduction and survival of cancer cells. This quantification is of fundamental importance to basic research prioritization, pharmaceutical drug development, clinical trial investment, and day-to-day health care decision-making by precision-medicine tumor boards. The research was published in November 2018 in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Lastly, I was interviewed at the ITN CONTRA workshop in Bertinoro, Italy, in the summer of 2018, and asked to give my top 10 pieces of advice for life science Ph.D students. CONTRA (Computational ONcology TRaining Alliance) is a European Union funded Innovative Training Network consisting of principal investigators from major European universities as well as partners from pharmaceutical, biotech-start up, and software development companies.”
Chris Buccini writes: “Looking forward to spending the next four years in Millville visiting my son, Tomas ’23. Hope to see fellow alumni on the sidelines and on campus.”
David Brownstein checks in: “I’m still bumping along in the Foreign Service. I got back in April after 20 months as Chargé d’Affaires at our Embassy in Bangui, Central African Republic (Perfectly acceptable to now ask, where the heck is that?). It was an interesting tour, in a Chinese proverb kind of way. Had citywide riots, rebels moved to within 30km of the capital, had to evacuate half the Embassy, lots of instability. But we were all collectively able to finally negotiate a peace agreement that is still holding. Was the hardest and most rewarding job I’ve had in my professional life, and I’m glad it’s over. It’s great to be back with my wife and daughter after 20 months apart. In November, I start the next tour as the director of conflict and stabilization operations for the Middle East at the State Department, which is kind of like being the director of dieting at Ben and Jerry’s. I get a lot of thumbs ups and ‘good luck with thats.’ I will be accepting all ideas, advice, prayers, offerings, cookies, condolences, and cases of booze that anyone wants to send my way. We’ll be in D.C. for at least the next two years, so door’s always open to any Paulies who need a place to crash. I get to see Sam von Trapp a fair amount in Stowe when we go up for vacations. He and his family are awesome. His beer is also excellent. Really looking forward to seeing everyone next year at Anniversary in all our middle-aged, paunchy glory. How did this happen?”
Claire Fiddian-Green shares: “My daughter, Olivia, is entering ninth grade this fall, and my son, Xavier, is going into 11th grade. They’re both taking Latin – inspired in no small part by my years studying Latin at SPS with the inestimable George Tracy. My husband, Troy, is a consultant, and I am still working in philanthropy in Indianapolis.”
An update from Scott Fossel: “After 20 great years in the Bay Area, my wife, Sasha, and I will be taking our kids Bergamot (9) and Beckett (7) around the world starting in September on a family gap year to consider which of life’s chapters to write next. Most likely is a move to the Big Island of Hawaii when we return. If anyone would enjoy a visit among our wanderings, our itinerary is fairly set now, so please be in touch.”
Sam Callard and Mitch Sklar ’77 joined family forces in Cancun, Mexico. Their families became good friends in Providence, R.I. Along with Mitch, daughter Davida, Sam and daughter Sadie, also enjoying the spring break were wives Katie (Mitch) and Rachel (Sam), as well as Sam and Rachel’s younger daughter, Maeve.
Jamie Douglass writes: “Formmates, I am bummed to have missed our 25th! I was on tour with Duff McKagan and Shooter Jennings that weekend. We played Boston that Saturday night, of all nights, and toured the whole month of June. www.duffonline.com.”