To study something as complex as the human brain, one certainly needs a well-rounded education, and Phillip Dmitriev ’17, has immersed himself in an interdisciplinary program at UF to do just that. A budding physician-scientist majoring in microbiology and neurobiological sciences in Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dmitriev’s research interests revolve around cognitive disorders, particularly schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease, and this passion for research has taken him all over campus.
“I don’t want to limit myself to one state or country.”
He completed his microbiological research and internships under the guidance of Professor Monika Oli in the Department of Microbiology and Cell Science in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. He crossed over to the College of Engineering to complete his thesis, which examined how brain volume affects cognitive symptoms in Parkinson’s, and worked in the lab of Mingzhou Ding, professor of biomedical engineering. As an exemplar of student research, he served on the Center for Undergraduate Research Board of Students.
Armed with this robust interdisciplinary background, Dmitriev has been awarded a Frost Scholarship, a program that offers exceptional Floridian students an opportunity for Masters study at the University of Oxford. Starting October 2017, he will spend a year at Oxford studying in its renowned pharmacology program, a great asset to his research interests. He then intends to apply to the competitive Oxford-Cambridge Scholars program offered by the National Institutes of Health. The “Oxcam” program emphasizes the development of physician-scientists through four years of study in the US and four years in Oxford. Dmitriev hopes the Frost program will make him a more competitive candidate for Oxcam.
Dmitriev is the eighth student in UF’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to be named a Frost Scholar. He’s also looking forward to the cross-cultural experience. “I’m really interested in having the opportunity to go abroad and experience how different science is elsewhere,” says the Russian-born Dmitriev. “Sometimes we’re in a bubble thinking of the U.S. only.” He pursued the program largely for the international aspect. “It will be a good thing for my career,” he says. “I don’t want to limit myself to one state or country.” Nor, apparently, to one discipline.