“The thrill of discovery is like nothing else,” says Philip Tubiolo ’21, a biomedical engineering (BME) major who is performing hands-on research in the Renaissance School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry.
“Nothing is better than working for weeks on a program and then seeing it actually produce meaningful results. That’s a euphoric feeling that you really can’t get anywhere else,” he said.
Since the start of 2019, Tubiolo has worked as a research assistant and programmer analyst in the Department of Psychiatry’s Multi Modal Translational Imaging Lab under the mentorship of Dr. Jared Van Snellenberg and MD/PhD student John Williams.
Building on his MATLAB skills, Tubiolo has learned to analyze functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data and gained expertise in the generation of methods for the evaluation of novel motion artifact removal techniques in fMRI — work supported in Summer 2020 through Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (URECA) funding. He presented his research at the 2019 annual URECA symposium, the national 2019 BMES conference in Philadelphia, and most recently the 2020 URECA virtual symposium. He will be a second author on an upcoming publication.
A rising senior in the BME program with concentrations in bioelectricity and bioimaging, Tubiolo has been accepted to the accelerated five-year master’s program in biomedical engineering and plans long-term to pursue a PhD and career in medical physics.
In Summer 2019, he interned at the Suffolk County Department of Health Services and assisted with tasks ranging from the safety inspections of residential and hotel pools, to fielding calls investigating dog bite incidents; he has also worked as a private high school STEM tutor. At Stony Brook, Tubiolo has served as a teaching assistant for biomedical engineering courses and is a member of the University Scholars honors program.
To students considering hands-on research endeavors, Tubiolo advises: “You don’t have to be the perfect coder. You don’t have to be a perfect writer. They want you to have an open mind, and they want you to be inquisitive and curious, because that’s what research is. It’s discovery.”