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5 Things About Me: Bioengineer Marc Rigas

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Marc Rigas says running marathons is great for Ph.D types.

Marc Rigas
Science Policy Analyst
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health

Background: My job involves identifying major science, policy, and administrative issues and preparing recommendations for Institute and NIH Leadership. I also contribute to the development and implementation of annual research planning and congressional justifications.

Question 1:Why did you become an engineer?
Answer:
I am a bioengineer, which is kind of a hybrid. I love learning new things about the world and thinking about ways to apply those things to enhance people's lives. In my occupation of science administration in the Federal government, I enjoy trying to identify connections that don't exist and try to make them happen!

Question 2: Share a comment or opinion you have on a topical science-related issue.
Answer: While things like global climate change and oil spills are seen by some as human disasters, I see them as great scientific opportunities. Humans will always create problems and then try to solve them--it seems wrapped up in our nature. These ones serve as great models to help us learn new things about our world, oceans, and climate system.

Question 3: Tell us about a hobby or passion outside of work.
Answer: I like to run--I have run three marathons and am training for my fourth. Running a marathon is great for Ph.D. types. It requires the same kind of long-term commitment and perseverance--when sometimes your mind is telling you: "This is silly--why am I doing this\.

Question 4: Share a favorite book and why you love it.
Answer: I recently read "Forty Signs of Rain" by Kim Stanley Robinson. It is a novel about climate change, and two of the main characters are scientists/administrators at NSF--I have read too many books dramatizing doctors and lawyers. This is a great depiction of real scientists and their human qualities.

Question 5: What's your favorite food?
Answer: Every now and then, I crave Philadelphia Cheese Steaks, which bring me back to my college days in Philadelphia. The problem is, my 40-year old body doesn't deal with them as well as my 20-year old body did. I made a pilgrimage back to Pat's in Philadelphia last year when I was there for work. I didn't feel so well afterwards... :(

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Marc Rigas says running marathons is great for Ph.D types. "It requires the same kind of long-term commitment and perseverance," he says. (Photo: Marc Rigas)
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