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My MCW Story: Derek Francis

MCW’s Biophysics PhD program prepared him well

Published: December, 2015

Derek Francis, PhD, may not conduct research any more, but the training he received in the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Biophysics PhD program prepared him well for his current position.

Derek Francis PhD“I am currently Senior Director of Medical and Scientific Affairs at Synapse Medical Communications. Our company helps ensure that science-driven companies are able to clearly articulate the value of their research and their products to their customers,” Derek said. “My interdisciplinary training at MCW helped prepare me to interact with a variety of professionals with a wide range of medical and scientific perspectives.”

Derek elaborated further on the benefits of his time at MCW.

“I decided to go to MCW for my PhD because I was impressed with the faculty’s research interests, as well as the fact that I would be able to interact with colleagues across a number of departments and learn in an interdisciplinary environment,” Derek said. “Looking back, the people made my time at MCW so enjoyable. I was surrounded by mentors that offered incredible support while also pushing me to strive for more.”

When Derek was conducting research, he studied structural biology. At MCW, he was a student in the lab of Candice Klug, PhD, Professor of Biophysics, and explored how specific proteins reacted to light, and turned that into an electrical signal to the brain. Similarly, while doing postdoctoral research at the NIH, he studied another protein involved in neurotransmission.




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