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Elias Oziolor, '12

Graduate Student at Baylor University

1) What are you doing now?

I am a graduate student in Biomedical Studies at Baylor University. I study the adaptations in fish populations that allow them to resist highly toxic environments, such as waters contaminated from industrial activity. Did he finish his PhD in evolutionary toxicology?

2) What sorts of ethical dilemmas have you encountered, or sought to resolve, in your career or studies?

I have had to write manuscripts in which the interpretation of environmental data could be influenced by various viewpoints of researchers. In such cases, sustaining an objective view and presenting all possible interpretations is crucial, but often elusive given the high pressures to publish the work.

3) What societal ethics issues are most important for us to address and why?

As I am getting more involved in the emerging genetics and genomics fields, I become convinced that an important social issue that we are going to encounter very soon is the way we deal with the increasing availability of whole genome data. We are getting closer to being able to sequence our individual genomes and determine whether we are "prone" to diseases at a very cheap price. On the other hand, having that information at hand may change the way we lead our lives substantially and that is why I think this access to such scientific achievements should be very well discussed before it becomes publicly accessible.

4) Did your experience as a Prindle Intern influence your career choice, graduate studies, travels, etc.?

I believe Prindle strengthened my already existing idea to pursue environmental goals in my career and to always keep a strong moral compass during my career.

5) Is there any advice you would give to current students?

There is one thing I heard from DePauw alumni that I never truly believed until very recently: "DePauw prepares you so well for further education!". I can only be thankful for my diverse and thorough education and experiences at DePauw. To any current student I can only say this: Make use of all the incredible resources that DePauw has to offer. Visit events, talk to your professors, visit the Prindle Institute because every one of those will give you that little bit of experience that may one day be of use to you. Never doubt that you are getting a great education and exposure to a variety concepts at DePauw!