Michael Levandoski, PhD.
Dr. Michael Levandoski, Jr. grew up in Morristown, New Jersey having a passion for science at a very early age. It was around 5 years old when he carried with him a dull, blue Styrofoam case containing a microscope for which he used everywhere he went. From viewing insects to plants to food under the microscope, his curiosity was never satiated. He participated in science fairs while in elementary school, putting in hours of dedication and creativity. His scientific inquisitiveness carried with him into adulthood, where he obtained a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics with a heavy focus on RNA processing from Rutgers University. His career in science has led him to move from New Jersey to Los Angeles, to his current home in North Carolina. Presently, as a Research Scientist, his work is focused on pathogen genomics and large-scale data analysis and data visualization. He has presented posters at national conferences and has served as a subject matter expert for infectious disease research. One of his unique strengths is using his programming skills to analyze massive data sets to aid in machine learning projects and explain complex biological phenomena in easily understandable ways to non-scientists. He is a big proponent of thinking “win-win” to join multidisciplinary teams so that he and his colleagues can succeed in various projects. Aside from his scientific achievements, he would say his biggest accomplishment was marrying the love of his life and collegiate homecoming queen, Edith. Together they enjoy hiking, traveling, and exploring local cuisine. Their happy home consists of 3 rescue dogs and 2 cats, which means there is never a dull moment. In Mike’s spare time he enjoys his lifelong hobby of martial arts. He is practicing Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and wrestling, where he encourages and inspires newcomers to break out of their comfort zone and test their limits just as he did. One of his core principles is that it is the duty of the strong to protect the weak, and he tries to embody that idea physically, mentally, and spiritually across the spectrum of his passions.