(BS, Biology, '09)
Q & A:
- What was your favorite class, who was your favorite professor, or what is your fondest memory of Hofstra?
I played football my freshman year under Coach Joe Gardy and loved being challenged by my teammates. I was inspired by my professors – Drs. Peter Daniel, Beverley Clendening, Sabrina Sobel, Joseph Sarra, and many more. I remember travelling to conferences with Drs. Daniel and Sobel and feeling the excitement that came with presenting science that we had done together. I remember running in the Ocean to Sound races with Dr. Clendening. I reminisce about the crazy stories that Dr. Sarra shared about serendipitous drug discoveries with our organic chemistry class. I’ve been inspired by the mentors I’ve had at Hofstra.
- What was your first job after graduating from Hofstra, and what was the most valuable thing learned in that position?
I pursued a PhD in Molecular Neuroscience right after graduation. Richard Hamming once said, “In science if you know what you’re doing, you shouldn’t be doing it.” Science asks questions that do not have answers. Scientists live in a state of uncertainty within the realm of the unknown. In my training, I’ve learned to embrace uncertainty and the feelings of discomfort that come along with it. I’ve found that times of great uncertainty precede unprecedented discovery.
- What is your field of specialty, and how did you come to work in the industry?
My specialty is in molecular neuroscience, but because of the multidisciplinary nature of the projects I pursue, I’ve had to master technical expertise in other areas to ensure success of these projects. One such project is based on our finding that electromagnetic fields can be used as a remote control to treat disease. The potential to make a significant impact in medicine has inspired me to master the scientific, engineering, and business skills necessary to translate scientific discoveries into medicines. I’m still learning!
- What advice would you give Hofstra students?
1) Don’t accept the world as it is. Make it better.
2) Stay ahead of the curve. Information will increasingly dominate every profession — both STEM and liberal arts.
3) Choose better habits. We are capable of far more than our current habits have us believing. Don’t let the bad habits win.
- In one word, how would you describe Hofstra?
Connection – My closest friends are my former classmates.
- What is a typical day like as the co-founder of GeminiiHealth?
A big focus of mine and my team is to ask outrageous questions that, if answered, have the potential to transform society. We like to ask, “What technology does an alien civilization have that (1) is within our reach and (2) if discovered, would radically benefit our society?” In the process of pursuing these questions, there is a balance between conducting experiments to find answers and translating these discoveries into medical products. I try to split my time equally between both. When I’m doing science, I’m running experiments, analyzing data, and trying to place findings into their proper context. When I’m translating science, I’m spending a lot of time on engineering, design, and, most importantly, learning from the physicians and patients who will use our products.
- Who was the person who most influenced you, and how?
I was raised by extraordinary folks. My mom immigrated to the U.S. from Poland when she was 12 and worked extremely hard to pay for her schooling in order to become a scientist. My dad, Tony Carter, was a Hofstra alumnus and star football player under coach Bill Leete. He moved on to become a professor of business at Columbia University and the University of New Haven and has taught and mentored thousands of students over his life. When I was a kid, he gave me a book, Mind Over Matter, which described the untapped potential that we all possess. I’ve always been fascinated by the notion that there may be undiscovered technologies that can help us upgrade our performance and unlock this potential.
- Where do you see your career progressing 10 years from now?
Science is evolving from being strictly discovery focused toward being translational, that is, making discoveries that will change how we see the universe and then turning these discoveries into tools that will upgrade human health and unlock our potential.
- How has your degree from Hofstra University helped you in your career?
Hofstra gave me the opportunity to see what a life in science would be like. Working in the labs late at night, studying all the time, and being part of a team of elite athletes prepared me for a life as a scientist-entrepreneur.
Named a Rising Star in a list of the Top 100 Black Scientists (published by University of Iowa postdoctoral research scholar Antentor Hinton), Calvin Carter, PhD, founded GeminiiHealth with twin brother Walter Carter, MBA, MA, and Sunny Huang, MD PhD(c), to develop cutting-edge medical technologies based on unprecedented scientific discoveries.
Dr. Carter is a research fellow at the American Diabetes Association and serves as an advisor to the Iowa governor’s STEM Council. He earned a BS from Hofstra University in 2009 and PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Iowa in 2014 (at 26 years of age). He was accepted to Yale School of Medicine but withdrew after making a profound scientific discovery that enables the remote control of cells with electromagnetic fields.
Dr. Carter has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, American Diabetes Association, Fraternal Order of Eagles, and GeminiiHealth to develop this discovery into digital medicines that manage disease without pills or injections.