Graduate Program

Performing organic synthesis on Curcumin analogs
  • Biography

Every parent seems to remember precisely, dreadfully or joyously,  a child’s “why?” phase. Fortunately for everyone around Justas, this phase never seems to have left. He is a person who loves to understand the basic questions in things and try to connect them through all different aspects. This is a concept that he holds dearly. It is something that he feverously aimed to achieve in his undergraduate BS in Pharmacology. Justas set out to experience every corner of drug development as physically possible, and succeeded. So much so, that he began to run his own experiments as a miniature R&D group in my lab. Justas was head research, synthesis, maintenance, inventory, clean up, and customer service when the glassware was piled up a bit too high.
Currently his interests reside in connecting technology with science. Justas has been immersed in the down and dirty aspect of synthesis, but is quickly becoming infatuated with the technology of understanding and visualizing protein structures. The use of different computer codes, lasers, and complex algorithms is something that is grabbing his attention and is refusing to let go. This is both used widely throughout the pharmaceutical industry and research, but it also quenches his need for visual expression as justas is also an international artist by night.

If he was to be summed up in one word, it would be a combination between stubborn, ambitious, and determined. He states that "There is a certain joy I feel when I know that I have solved a question, or perhaps failed at one, but knowing that I did so with my maximal effort involved".

Justas's mantra for what keeps him motivated is  “You have to work twice as hard as them to be half as good as them”.