Peter Nesper ’15: Prolific researcher, writer
Peter Nesper ’15, a clinical research associate at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, has achieved a remarkable and rare accomplishment. Since August 2016, he has published 15 research articles and is the lead author on three.
Nesper, a biology major and neuroscience minor, works in the clinical imaging lab at the Feinberg Department of Ophthalmology. In his work, Nesper uses novel imaging techniques to improve understanding of the pathophysiology underlying diseases that affect the back of the eye, evaluating the retina’s response to treatment regiments, and testing the diagnostic and prognostic potential of different cameras. Thanks to the experiences he had at Lake Forest College, Nesper was prepared to work in a research lab after graduation.
“Lake Forest College played a crucial role in my development as a student and a scientist,” he said. “Every faculty member who I was fortunate enough to know had—and still has—a significant impact in my growth as an aspiring academic. Specifically, my chemistry professor and research mentor literally taught me how to think like a scientist and question everything.
“My neuroscience professor and life advisor provided me with the practical scientific tools and techniques that I employ today and pushed me to become a better student and a better human. My psychology professor ignited my passion for retina and the visual system and always believed in me. Those close and unique relationships I was able to cultivate with my professors were the most fruitful and beneficial aspects of my college years. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the connections I made while at Lake Forest College.”
As his academic advisor and teacher, Professor and Chair of Biology Shubhik DebBurman knew Nesper well and is not surprised by his remarkable research output.
“The life sciences curriculum at Lake Forest College is designed to provide our graduates with the ability to pursue timely and complex research questions, come up with creative and imaginative solutions, become adept problem solvers, and communicate deftly through professional writing and presentations,” DebBurman said. “Peter’s exceptional research productivity in such a short timespan represents a perfect storm of these skill sets.”
After teaching Nesper several courses, DebBurman identified one of his strengths: the ability to communicate scientific ideas precisely and clearly.
“While delighted and impressed by his dedication to the biomedical problem he is tackling, I am not at all surprised that it has clearly captured his full imagination and he is giving this scientific problem his all,” DebBurman said. “Just to provide some perspective, it took me 15 years to amass this type of publication record, so it’s very easy for me to fully appreciate such a remarkable outcome and I am quite proud of Peter’s success.”