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Meet: Robert W. Phillips DVM, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus
Department of Physiology
Colorado State University

Who I am - words that describe me:
Scientist, Educator, Biologist, Physiologist, Nutritionist, Veterinarian

My personal challenges:
I would choose lifelong learning and successful aging. As a Payload Specialist I would have been the oldest person to go into space before John Glenn on STS 40, June 1991, if flight medicine had not disqualified me at almost the last moment for a minor cardiac condition.

My career challenges:
As a professional educator, lifelong learning has been, and is, an essential component of my career. Given the vast and remarkable changes in the past several decades in the fields of biological sciences and medicine, continual learning is a mandatory requirement in order to stay abreast of any of the disciplines within these fields.

My career:
I teach and explore and learn. One of the recent shifts in my career, in this past year, was to work with several others to develop a basic biology course for non-scientists/non biologists, that would cover the scope of biology from the origins and evolution of life to current biology, the ecosphere and predictions for the future all with a NASA or space relevance. It has been an exciting and stimulating opportunity, and I have learned a great deal.

Likes/Dislikes about career:
The things that I have liked most about my career are the opportunities to change and learn and to expand knowledge. A career as a scientist gives one almost unlimited opportunities to move laterally and enter new fields of endeavor. I also have enjoyed and continue to enjoy my experiences as a mentor to both graduate and undergraduate students. Many of them have become lifelong friends and colleagues.

Future goals:
I don't feel that I have any goals yet to accomplish, except to continue to accomplish and pursue new and interesting questions and challenges. I have retired several times and look forward to continuing to be a productive scientist educator. I am having too much fun to really quit.


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