Robert W. Fernandez, PhD
Co-founder; Executive Director
Dr. Robert W. Fernandez is a Junior Simons Fellow at Columbia University studying how neural circuits develop in the male C. elegans nervous system. He was born in Lima, Peru and grew up in NJ where he attended community college at Union County College where he majored in Business Administration. He received his Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Biotechnology at York College, City University of New York. As a former undocumented immigrant for twenty years, mentors played a vital role in navigating his undergraduate and doctoral studies and he believes in pushing it forward. He received his PhD in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale where he mapped neurotransmitter GPCRs in the C. elegans egg-laying circuit. He is the co-founder of Científico Latino, a science organization that works to improve the pipeline of minoritized students in higher education in the sciences. Dr. Fernandez received awards for his work such as the PD Soros Fellowship, selected as one of the 100 inspiring Hispanic/Latinx scientists in America, Science Sandbox awardee and featured in Forbes.