Meet a Local Scientist: May 2017

Dr. Sarah Gross

Dr. Sarah Gross

Where do you work and what is your position?

Farmingdale State College Biology Department, Associate Professor and Curriculum Director.

Describe your work.

I do research on the lifecycle of herpesviruses, specifically on how virus particles leave infected cells.

Where did you go to school? Describe your path to your current position.

Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University for undergrad, Albert Einstein College of Medicine for my PhD. Once I graduated from the PhD program, I spent 2 years teaching Biology, AP Biology, and Health in private high schools, before coming to Farmingdale in 2006.

What is the best part of your job?

Getting students excited about cell biology and virology! Helping students figure out what courses they need to take and what they want to do with their life.

Describe a typical day at work for you.

Depending on the day, some combination of teaching either Cell Biology or Human Virology lectures, attending various committee meetings, advising a bunch of students on course selection, writing letters of recommendation, and if I have time, going into the lab to do some experiments.

Why do you love science?

Because science is awesome! I love understanding the details of how things work, especially cells and viruses — they're fascinating!

What advice would you give to people interested in a career in science?

Take classes that interest you. Find your passion. Don't give up if you fail — learn from your mistakes and try harder the next time. Don't be discouraged if you have one bad experience with a class or professor. Be open and flexible – you may discover that what you thought you wanted to do doesn't actually interest you, but that something you hadn't considered before may actually be a perfect career fit.

What is your favorite scientific fact?

How can I pick just one?

Tell us a bit about yourself that is not related to science.

I am married with 3 kids, ages 16, 12, and 8. In addition to watching TV and checking Facebook in my downtime, I love to hike and camp, read books, and hang out with friends and family (well, at least most of them).

What is your favorite thing about Long Island?

Most of my family lives on Long Island, so my kids are growing up with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins nearby. Also, I love the beautiful state parks and beaches that are here on the Island.