Jeffrey Reese ’14

Jeffrey Reese

During his second year of medical school at Florida State University, biology grad Jeffrey Reese (’14) wanted to broaden his knowledge base and experience in medicine. So he applied for several research positions, hoping the door would open for one in pediatric genetics.

“I was perplexed when God closed the door to what I thought was the ideal summer research opportunity,” he said. “Little did I realize that the Lord had bigger plans for me than what I could have imagined.” Instead of pediatrics, Jeffrey received an invitation to conduct a 12-week summer study in neurology from the Balance Disorder Clinic in Tallahassee.

“I had the opportunity to help validate a clinical exam technique with patients who suffered from balance-related issues like vertigo,” he said. During his research, he and his fellow researchers used the Quix test, a 30-second tool to evaluate and properly diagnose dizzy patients, on 200 patients at the clinic.

Because of the extensive research conducted by their team, Jeffrey was invited to present their findings at the international convention of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) in Vancouver, B.C.

“This research opportunity was definitely one of the highlights of medical school,” said Jeffrey. “As I continue through my third year of medical studies and the initial planning for residency, I’m grateful that I can feature my participation in one of the premier neurology conferences in the world.”

Looking back on his summer research position, Jeffrey can see how the Lord had been preparing him for his future all along. “All of my science classes at PCC helped me to develop a strong work ethic and to refine skill-sets which proved invaluable while wading through complicated case studies,” he said.

During his time at the AAN Convention, Jeffrey had the opportunity to talk to neurologists from around the world, some of whom plan to implement his team’s clinical exam in their offices. One of the doctors paid him a high compliment saying, “Based on your knowledge of the subject, I thought you were already finished with medical school and were a resident researcher!”

Jeffrey knows his success is all the Lord’s doing. “I’m confident that God opened this unique opportunity to present,” he said.

Currently, his research team has published an article on their findings in the FLAAEM newsletter. Their abstract and poster have been published in Neurology, the official journal of the AAN, with plans to publish the full manuscript sometime next year.

Jeffrey looks forward to his residency with great expectation, knowing he has been fully prepared for his future. “I believe PCC and a healthy dose of God’s grace have contributed to my success in medical school. Our God is big enough to help each of us accomplish what we can’t do in our own strength.”

Francisco Rodriguez ’03

Cico Rodriguez

  • Research and Science Manager, Garden of Life

Biology grad Francisco (Cico) Rodriguez (’03, FL) is Research and Science Manager for Garden of Life, a dietary supplement company founded by The Maker’s Diet author Jordan Rubin. Cico researches natural ingredients to be developed into multivitamins, probiotics, and other products that promote healthy living.

After graduating from PCC, Cico knew his biology degree could provide many career options, though he was especially interested in nutrition and human health. On a flight home, he met Jordan Rubin, and was impressed with Garden of Life’s emphasis on foundational nutrition. Soon afterwards, Garden of Life called to offer him a microbiologist position.

“The skills I learned at PCC were a perfect fit for my position as microbiologist,” Cico said. “The solid courses instilled a strong understanding of everything from protein functions, carbohydrate metabolism, and fat utilization, to cellular structures, metabolic functions, and much more.

“Now as Research and Science Manager, I use many of the other skills I learned at PCC in order to channel product discovery. The in-depth information PCC provided of the body’s cellular functions is now the most valued knowledge to me in my career. I really enjoyed Biotechnology class, which took me to the world of bacteria on a more detailed level than I could have imagined. Dr. Carlos Alvarez showed so much passion for the world around him that he inspired questions, ideas, solutions, creativity, and more questions!

“My favorite part of working in health and wellness is being on the front end of discovery for using ingredients for health benefits. It’s most rewarding to see how a product changes people’s lives, and humbling to realize how a product that was only an idea a few years ago is now so valuable to the quality of life for our customers.”

Cico is one of over 170 PCC biology grads, many of whom have earned advanced degrees or established careers in research laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, health institutes, science foundations, and zoos. By covering a broad range of in-depth biology topics, PCC’s program provides a solid foundation for graduate school or various biology-related fields. See Biology major for more information.

Learn More

Check out PCC’s natural sciences department for majors in biology, chemistry, pre-medicine, and more.

PCC graduates and students use their training in remarkable ways. Read about how God is using them in their field of study.

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