Alex Rossi found success both in the classrooms and in the research lab at Barrow Neurological Institute while he was student in the Center for Research of Engineering, Science and Technology (CREST) program at Paradise Valley High School. Alex’s hard work and determination paid off when he was selected to present his research abstract on brain tumors to cancer scientists from around the world at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting in 2015. These experiences, prepared Alex for college and provided a core set of laboratory and research skills that reduced the learning curve in the lab at Barrow Neurological Institute.

Alex always had a passion for science and math, but a personal experience propelled him to not to waste his time waiting for his life to start. During this difficult time, he came to the realization that science held an immense capability to help every single person on the planet, and he wanted to part of that. “To know that I could be part of the human quest for meaning and understanding not only drives me out of bed each morning, but it occasionally makes it hard to waste any of my time on sleep,” said Alex.

Alex’s motto has been that you should never be afraid of failure. “Successful people don’t always succeed more often than everyone else, but rather, they are more willing to take the risk of failure than others.”

Alex has placed a lot of emphasis on political and social involvement. He commonly writes or calls local state and national representatives to voice his opinion on a variety of political topics. He also enjoys photography as a way to explore a more creative aspect of himself.

Alex’s advice for students starting high school -- don’t take things too seriously. When it seems your world is falling apart because your classes are too stressful and you’re in a fight with a friend, try and take a step back and look at the big picture.

Alex is currently attending Arizona State University and was invited to be a writer for "Ask a Biologist" as a specialist in cancer genetics.