Give a Rouse: Meet Jason Toffey, Dartmouth Class of 2012


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Jason Toffey ’12, left. appeared as a coauthor on a peer-reviewed scientific paper with Assistant Professor of Chemistry Ekaterina Pletneva. (photo by Eli Burak ’00)

Jason Toffey ’12 is already a star scientist, a biophysical chemistry major working away in the laboratory of Ekaterina Pletneva, assistant professor of chemistry.

The Summit, N. J., student says that he was inspired by his general and organic chemistry classes to pursue research in the chemistry department. “Research is a huge part of science nowadays,” says Toffey. “I am a premed student, going to medical school after Dartmouth, and I was looking for a way to explore my scientific opportunities here.”

Seeking students to help out with her research on protein dynamics, Pletneva approached Toffey. It turned out to be the opportunity he was looking for.

“Professor Pletneva has been a great mentor and helped me really get involved in an area of research that was well beyond my knowledge at the time,” Toffey acknowledges. “Now I feel competent in my research abilities and my understanding of chemistry. And I believe that doing research as an undergraduate has extremely helped me in my learning at the undergraduate level and I hope to pursue it afterwards.”

As a strong advocate of undergraduate research, Pletneva considers herself blessed to be working at Dartmouth with talented students. “Jason is certainly one of the best of them and his productivity in my laboratory surpassed all of my already high expectations,” she notes. “His fantastic experimental skills, intellectual curiosity, hard work, and determination yielded a great Honors project thesis.”

Toffey, who was a nominee for the prestigious Gazzaniga Family Science Award, appeared as a coauthor with Pletneva on a peer-reviewed scientific paper, which he calls “an incredible experience.”

Read more profiles of members of the Class of 2012:

Joseph Blumberg