Brian Long

Brian Long

Research Scientist


University of California, San Francisco

Milestones

Milestones

My road in life has taken me all over.
I had no idea what I wanted to do in high school, so I joined the Marines.
The military wasn't for me, so I found a way to get out of it thinking the worst of life was over.
Enrolled in community college to finish my high school education and become a master chef.
Realized I really didn't like working in kitchens and changed my major from food service to Business.
Had a business teacher that really encouraged me to go into engineering or science.
Completed several science and math classes and transferred to a local university.
Upon finishing my BS in medical technology, I was asked if I wanted to join a research lab.
Decided I really like research and continued on to finish by PhD in Immunology at UNC Chapel Hill.
Keep following my journey
Education

Education

highschool
High School
undergrad
Bachelor
SUNY College at Buffalo
doctorate
Doctorate
Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Career

Career

Research Scientist

I perform biomedical research to determine where the HIV virus resides in infected individuals that otherwise have their disease controlled with anti-retroviral medications.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Science
Science
Medicine
Medicine
Problem Solving
Problem Solving

Day to Day

Most mornings I spend awaiting arrival of a clinical sample taken from a person with HIV. I then process the sample to extract a particular type of cell that I'm interested in studying. Because this is research, the methods and techniques I use to study these tissues change frequently, but always involve the use of a lot of pretty complicated instrumentation. The one used most has lasers to excite molecules to emit light at a different wavelength allowing for detection of cell proteins.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

It's becoming more and more important in all areas of research to be familiar with computer science. It's not that you have to be an expert, but you will need to be able to understand how basic programming works, and is applied to data analysis. If you could learn something like R-code, Python or Pearl, that would be really helpful. Know how they are used in conjunction with statistical testing.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

If you're in college (or even high school), it's important to gain as much experience as possible working in a research lab. This can be pretty easily accomplished by asking professors or teaching assistants if there are volunteer positions available in their labs, or if they know of any in other labs. There almost always are such positions somewhere. The first step is just to ask!

Recommended Education

My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead:

undergrad
Bachelor
graduate
Graduate
doctorate
Doctorate
Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Friends:

"You should pick a college major that will lead directly to a good or well paying job. That having a good job was the most important thing. While a good job is certainly important, it's not everything. If you don't like or love what you do on some level, you're in for a long and mostly miserable existence. People said studying anything in the humanities was a waste of time and money. It's turned out to be the opposite really."

Challenges I Overcame

Financial