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#IAmNYAS: Kenny Shatzkes

A hockey fan with a love of sharing science and combating dangerous pathogens, Academy Member Kenny Shatzkes is helping to bring cutting-edge science to the classroom.

Published September 07, 2016

#IAmNYAS: Kenny Shatzkes

Our Scientist-in-Residence program is looking for new people to join its ranks — apply here. Read on to meet Kenny, a scientist with a passion for serving as a role model to middle school students.

Not only does Academy Member Kenny Shatzkes share a birthday with Scientists-in-Residence.

Working with 8th grade science teacher Sarah Slack at Sunset Park Prep, a public middle school in Brooklyn, NY, Kenny brought his experience as a working scientist to the classroom, helping not only to improving STEM learning opportunities, but also to serve as a young role model to students.

Watch the video below to learn more about Kenny's experience in the program and learn more about Kenny in the Q&A below the video.

What project(s) are you currently working on?

I have always been interested in infectious disease and how we can protect ourselves from dangerous pathogens. With the rise of multi drug-resistant infections seen in the clinic and the fact that virtually no new antibiotic has been discovered since the 1970s, it's important that we develop new ways to protect ourselves from dangerous bacteria that make us sick. To this end, I am currently studying a unique subset of bacteria called predatory bacteria (Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus and Micavibrio aeruginosavorus) which must digest other bacteria in order to grow, replicate and survive. We hope to harness this advantageous organism in a "fight fire with fire" approach, and develop these predatory bacteria into a potential new therapeutic against bacterial infections in humans.

What's something you like to do outside the lab?

I'm a big hockey and New York Rangers fan. I played ice hockey at a pretty competitive level up until the start of college. My family have been season ticket holders for the Rangers since the 1993-94 season (I heard that was a good year). Graduate school has made it harder to get to the rink, but I try my best to get there to blow off some steam every now and then.

My personal definition of science is... elegant set of rules to hack the secrets of the universe.

We're looking for scientists like you for our mentoring programs! Learn more and apply here.

Read other #IAmNYAS profiles here.