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Senior in the Spotlight on Stage, in Biology Lab

February 12, 2013

By Christopher Adam

Alex Cochrane has found two stages at Rose-Hulman to showcase his creative expression— in the research laboratory and under the bright theater lights.

            Alex on Stage
  Creative Student: Senior Alex Cochrane has appeared in drama club productions throughout his college career.

Cochrane, a senior applied biology student, believes his acting, singing, and dancing on the Hatfield Hall stage in Drama Club productions has brought forth creativity in the classroom and research laboratory, where his current interests center on immunology and cancer.

“As a budding research scientist, I find the ability to balance competing actions and ideas in the lab is drawn from my stage awareness,” says Cochrane. “I often find the actor in me takes over when trying to relay ideas in science to people.”

He has had plenty of opportunities to develop his performing skills at Rose-Hulman. The role of Chip Tolentino in last fall’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee was Cochrane’s 10th drama club show. He has also played Monsieur André in The Phantom of the Opera and Dr. Horrible in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.

“I came in as a wide-eyed freshman seeking guidance, friendship, and a challenge for my performance abilities. It has been exactly that,” he says.

Cochrane’s work in the research lab and classroom involving breast cancer metastases and melanoma cells may seem like a world away from his stage performances. But, he says Rose-Hulman offers an ideal environment for combining several interests.

“There’s a tight-knit community of scientists and engineers that enjoy creativity and live innovation,” he says. “Whether your personal creativity may be in performing or visual arts, writing, athletic expression, or even laboratory research, Rose-Hulman not only supports it, but also celebrates it.”

He has applied to medical school and plans to pursue a physician scientist career track. He would like to work as an oncologist or allergy/asthma physician and research the malfunctions of the immune system.

“He is the student of our 2013 (applied biology) class with the most focused professional goals, a plan to accomplish those goals, and, most importantly, the ability to accomplish those goals,” says Ella Ingram, PhD, associate professor of applied biology. “He will be an important contributor to medical science and a compassionate medical professional.”

Christopher Adam is an Indiana-based freelance writer.



Applied Biology Major
Bloomfield, Indiana


• Drama Club President, 2012-13
• Learning Center Freshman/Sophomore Tutor
• Alpha Chi Sigma, Co-Social Chair
• Academy of Dance, Modern Dance IV
• Union Hospital Job Shadow


• Lilly Endowment Scholarship
• Rose-Hulman Dean’s List, Every Quarter


• Applied Biology Department, Rose-Hulman
• Chemical/Biological Engineering Department, Iowa State University
• Department of Immunology, University of Iowa