Science and Our Food Supply Careers: Morse Solomon, Ph.D.
"Trying to attack your road blocks can be an exhausting task. Instead, think of creative ways you can go over, around, or even under road blocks. In the end, you'll preserve your strength, positive attitude, and all the qualities you need to succeed!"
Research Leader Food Technology and Safety Laboratory Agricultural Research Service U.S. Department of Agriculture
Fields of Expertise:
Meat Science and Muscle Biology
University of Connecticut
Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Biology
University of Kentucky
Master of Science in Animal Science/Meat Science and Muscle Biology
University of Florida
Ph.D. in Animal Science/Meat Science and Muscle Biology
(while in high school)
Short Order Cook in Fast Food Restaurant
(while in high school)
(while in college)
Graduate Research Associate
University of Kentucky and University of Florida
Agricultural Research Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
"If I hadn't become a scientist, I would have become . . . a salesman."
Q: What do you do in your current job?
A: I lead a team of research scientists and support staff in the area of food technology and safety research.
Q: What led you to your career?
A: I always wanted to be a leader. Dr. Donald Kinsman, my undergraduate professor at the University of Connecticut, was a true leader, and I wanted to be just like him. He convinced me to pursue a career in meat science and muscle biology. He was the "Michael Jordan" of this field, and he's the reason I'm doing what I do today. I love leading a team of scientists, solving science-based problems, and developing cutting edge research programs.
Q: What other subjects besides science are important for this field of study?
A: I report my research and make speeches around the world, so English and public speaking are very important. Scientists speak to a variety of audiences. For instance, one day, I may be speaking to a room full of scientists. The next day, I may be speaking to elementary school students. As a scientist, you have to be able to tailor your talks to different audiences, so they'll be able to understand the message you're trying to convey.
Q: Have you been involved in any new scientific discoveries?
A: Most meat tenderizing methods take days or even weeks to be effective. I, along with a team of scientists, discovered that underwater detonation explosives can instantaneously tenderize meat. (Who would have thought that I would ever be working with explosives in my field of study?) In the process, we also discovered that explosives can kill harmful bacteria in meat. This is an experimental process. It has not become commercial yet.
Q: What advice would you give to students who are interested in pursuing a career in science?
A: Trying to attack your road blocks can be an exhausting task. Instead, think of creative ways you can go over, around, or even under road blocks. In the end, you'll preserve your strength, positive attitude, and all the qualities you need to succeed!