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Q & A with Dr. Thomas Mennella

Program Director Dr. Thomas Mennella, PhD, brings to Bay Path students his expertise in molecular genetics, specifically how cells control which genes are active in an organism, which was the focus of his doctoral work at SUNY Albany and post-doctoral positions at Harvard Medical School and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He also brings a deep passion for teaching future scientists. An early adopter of “flipped learning” and active learning practices at the college level, Dr. Mennella serves as the higher education editor for the Flipped Learning Review monthly eMagazine. Recently he was one of 30 educators chosen from over 550 candidates for the Flipped Learning Global Initiative’s International Faculty, a coalition that trains and supports schools worldwide in transitioning from passive to active learning. Outside his teaching work, Dr. Mennella loves spending time with his daughters, traveling, cheering for the Boston Bruins, and pursuing the perfect cup of coffee.


What do you love about Laboratory Science and Operations?

In the last 15 years, there has been a revolution in technologies and techniques for studying life. We now can study thousands of genes and cells simultaneously and model complex biological systems. This “Systems Biology” approach is what will allow us to build a cell from scratch, conquer disease, and understand how all life is possible!


What’s the value of a Master of Science in Laboratory Science & Operations?

Marketability: Employers tell us they need broadly trained graduates. They often say students from traditional master of science (MS) programs are too narrowly focused, with lab experience in only one research niche, while students from professional science master (PSM) programs lack an understanding of the scientific theory underlying the instruments they’re trained to use. The MS in Applied Laboratory Science & Operations program is a hybrid that develops the most marketable graduates by providing both robust science instruction and competencies with instrumentation.


Why choose Bay Path for graduate work in Applied Laboratory Science & Operations?

  • For our 3-pronged curriculum. Unlike other programs out there, we provide (1) robust natural sciences courses with extensive experience using advanced instruments, including a Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope, a 3500 Genetic Analyzer, an Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometer, a Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometer, and a Fourier Transform-Infrared Spectrometer, (2) independent research experience as students work to answer their individually tailored thesis research question, and (3) management training through 4 online courses in lab management and operations so that graduates will be recognized as leaders and quickly promoted within the workplace.
  • For our expert faculty, whose research experiences range from crime investigation, to biotech, to neuroscience, and who enable students to pursue any specialization.