About the Fellows

Tracie Delgado

First Year Fellow, Tracie Delgado

Dr. Tracie Delgado is an Associate Professor of Biology at Seattle Pacific University.

As an educator, Dr. Delgado strives to encourage academic excellence from both her students and herself. She finds teaching to be very rewarding because it allows her to train, motivate and shape the lives of her students by instilling knowledge they can use for a lifetime. She is very committed to providing a learning environment that is both exciting, interactive, and rigorous. Dr. Delgado teaches courses in cell biology, general biology, genetics, and cancer biology.

The Delgado Lab research focuses on understanding how herpesviruses cause cancer by altering host cell metabolism. It is estimated that ~15% of cancers are caused by virus infections.  Viruses are intracellular parasites which lack their own metabolism, so they must hijack host cell metabolic machinery to create more energy, proteins, fats, and genetic material necessary to replicate. The Delgado Lab is looking at which metabolites are altered during herpesvirus infection and is working to identify metabolic inhibitors that can provide new antiviral treatments. In 2015, Dr. Delgado gave a TEDx talk, which highlights her research, titled "The Future of Antiviral Therapy:"

Phil Baker

Second Year Fellow, Phil Baker

Dr. Phil Baker is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Seattle Pacific University.

Our research in the Baker Lab is focused on understanding the neural basis of how decisions are made when faced with complex and changing environments across species. Understanding the complex neural processes that integrate diverse types of information to compare, contrast, and ultimately decide on a behavior is a critical step in developing new pharmacological and behavioral treatments for psychological vulnerabilities. We are also interested in understanding how learned behaviors affect the unconscious processes involved decisions. These unconscious learned processes affect everything from moral decisions, to who we decide to affiliate with. These questions not only relate to the underlying brain processes involved in decision-making, but also require important reflection from philosophical and theological sources to make sense of what it means to be a social human.

Dr. Baker is excited by the opportunities this grant affords for students to engage in both rigorous scientific questions about the neural circuitry involved in forming choices – but also in the opportunity to engage scholars in questions of faith related to free will, theory of mind, and a technological future. 

Nerissa Lewis

Third Year Fellow, Nerissa Lewis

Dr. Nerissa Lewis is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Seattle Pacific University.

The Lewis Lab investigates how to use different tagging methods to better understand and target cancer cells in human bodies. The study of the conjugation of fluorescent molecules, bearing sulfonamide links (–SO2NH–), to the fac-[MI(CO)3] core (M = 99mTc and 186/188Re) and to simple B12 models, (Cl or CH3)Co(DH)2(py) (DH = monoanion of dimethylglyoxime), have radio imaging and selective targeting potential. 

As students participate in this project, they are invited to be changed by faith. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. In this study, students will be given the opportunity to contribute to research that is aimed at advancing the fight against cancer, a disease that causes so much pain and suffering to families, friends, and the community at large.