Volume 2, Issue 1
New Member Interviews
Eduardo Romano, Ph.D.
Research Scientist Member
Why did you decide to Join the NHSN?
I knew about NHSN through informal conversations with several colleagues. Recently, I was able to witness the energy and passion emanating from the organization. Naturally, I wanted to be a part of it.
When and why did you become interested in drug abuse research?
My academic background drove my initial interest on institutional constraints and inequalities. My cultural background made me focus on Latinos. A decade or so ago, my interaction with scientists in the field of alcohol and other drugs of abuse awoke my concern with the vulnerability of Latinos to these problems and subsequently, my current research interest.
Briefly describe your current line of research
Most of my work has been focused on alcohol, particularly in the area of the drinking and driving. I’m currently interested in i) learning more about the complexities involving patterns of drinking and driving among Latinos, ii) learning the contribution of drug abuse to that problem.
What is your ultimate dream in terms of your career? Have you already accomplished this?
I am not sure I have an “ultimate dream.” However, let’s say that I would like to have a stronger voice in the shaping of Latino policies, and that such desire (I will not call it an ultimate dream) has not been achieved yet.
What is the most important lesson you learned as a graduate student?
Several. That graduate school and academia as a whole do not differ from what we find everywhere else: they are human activities at their core. Thus, there are good and mediocre teachers, good and mediocre researchers, as well as good and mediocre students.
I’ve also learned that hard work is a necessary, but not a sufficient condition: passion and good thinking are also a must.
What advice would you give to a graduate student who wants to pursue a career as an academic scientist?
You must have a lot of fun in what you are doing, or else.
What qualities/attributes do you look for when deciding to mentor a student or early career scientist?
Passion, energy, and intelligence.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Hopefully, in a better position to influence policy decisions
What is your cultural background and how did it influence your choice of career and/or research area?
I was born in Argentina. I realized that I was different (i.e., a minority and a Latino) when I came to America. My interest in Latinos issues followed.
What advice would you give to a colleague and/or graduate student on how to handle stress?
Paraphrasing Didi (the former Brazilian soccer player): don’t worry about the outcome, just work hard and have fun (“Joga bonito”)! You’ll see that if you “joga bonito,” soon you’ll start winning.
What do you do for fun?
I like to read (mostly non-fictional, historical books). I also like to play (soccer and chess) and paint, both activities with most forgettable outcomes.