By Sophie Fahey '17
Rory Spence is a new assistant professor of Biology in the Keck Science Department. He teaches in the neuroscience program, and his research focuses on neural repair.
Did you know about the Claremont Colleges before coming to work here?
Nope, never knew they even existed. Didn’t even know what a liberal arts college was until a couple of years ago.
What were you doing before coming to Claremont?
I worked as a chef, as a fly-fishing guide, got a Ph.D. in neuroscience, got married, got a couple dogs, [and I am an] amateur brewer and gardener. Just trying to enjoy life — still am.
What do you specialize in? Can you tell us a little bit about your current research?
I have always been interested in an area of neuroscience called neural repair. My Ph.D. focus evaluated a new treatment for patients with Multiple Sclerosis. Right now we are working on how the brains of fish are able to repair themselves after a concussion-like injury. For some reason, humans are not able to repair our brains to the extent that fish can. I am curious why that is.
What classes are you teaching this semester?
Neuroscience 1 (BIO 148l) and Biology 43l.
What is a typical day like for you in Claremont?
Answer emails. Usually meet with some students, teach a class, try and get a bit of research in, usually a meeting or two, maybe even a swim at “Club Scripps” [the Tiernan Field House] if it’s a good day.
Do you have any advice for students?
You’re at an awesome place — take advantage of all the great opportunities available to you. Few people get an education this great, don’t waste that.