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Feb. 20, 2014

Faculty conversations:  Andrea Amalfitano

As a scholar of genetics, Andrea Amalfitano is working to solve big-picture problems from a microscopic perspective.

“I’m trying to cure diseases by developing technologies that deliver genetic information,” said Amalfitano, Osteopathic Heritage Foundation endowed professor of pediatrics, microbiology and molecular genetics. “Colon cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer…we’re attempting to develop therapies for them all.”

In addition to teaching, researching and working as a physician, Amalfitano serves as director of the MSU Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. The organization takes research breakthroughs regarding medical, environmental and societal problems and integrates them into the public.

“It’s part of the greater mission of MSU to reach out to the community and see what it needs,” Amalfitano said. “Helping people is really the core of what we’re trying to do.”

On top of teaching students in his classroom and his lab, Amalfitano guides doctors in training at Sparrow Hospital. He said passing his knowledge down to the next generation is one of the many reasons he enjoys his job.

“It’s great having young scientists who are eager to learn more and contribute,” Amalfitano said. “I’m very happy at MSU. I think I’m one of the luckiest guys on the planet.”