The youngest of three boys, Robert hails from the small town of Carlow in the south east of Ireland, approximately 50 miles from the capital city, Dublin. Prior to his enrolment in ESTEEM, Robert completed his undergraduate degree – BSc Biomedical, Health and Life Sciences – at University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland in May 2014. As part of the final year of his degree, Robert undertook an 8 month laboratory-based research project in St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin and based on this work, compiled a thesis entitled: "The investigation of the role of KHSRP on inflammation and carcinogenesis in human colon tissue."
While Robert enjoyed his time as an undergraduate researcher, he felt that a career of this nature was simply too one-dimensional for him. In November 2013, having attended an information meeting detailing what the ESTEEM Program had to offer, Robert immediately knew that the University of Notre Dame was the ideal environment for him to consolidate his technical expertise with an equally proficient business acumen.
For his Capstone Thesis Project, Robert joined Prof. Kasturi Haldar’s team in the Center for Rare and Neglected Diseases where he worked to devise a business plan for the commercialization of a plasma biomarker signature for neurological disease: a biochemical metric assessment of disease progression and drug efficacy.
Robert has always had a strong interest in biotechnology and is driven to use his unique combination of technical and entrepreneurial skills to improve the standards of healthcare technologies, resources, and accessibility. This passion has lured him to the world’s center of innovation, Silicon Valley, where he works as a Marketing Specialist for Personalis, Inc. – a rapidly growing biotech start-up that is changing the way we analyze/interpret the human genome and diagnose inherited and spontaneous genetic disorders. Robert views the Bay Area as the ideal location for him to hone and augment the skills he gained at Notre Dame with the ultimate aim of one day using them to pursue his own entrepreneurial endeavors.