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Zachary Barbati ’10

Graduation Year


Major at MMC


Spotlight Story

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, Zachary Barbati ’10 received the Copenhagen Master of Excellence Scholarship Award, enabling him to study at the University of Copenhagen from 2010-12, where he spent two years conducting research and pursuing other academic work. Now a graduate student at Harvard Medical School (HMS), he is focusing his work on immunology. Under the supervision of Dr. Arlene Sharpe, he is conducting research on T cells in the context of autoimmunity and cancer, specifically studying the importance of selenium-containing proteins in T cell activation. He was featured on Harvard’s 2015–16 Dean’s Report and presented his research at the HMS Master Programs Research Day, held on March 7, 2016.

Looking back on his time at MMC, Barbati said he can still remember test questions on the exams he took in classes like Biochemistry and Physiology. He credits Dr. Judith Hanks and Dr. Benedetta Sampoli-Benitez with challenging him to think holistically about approaching scientific problems and thinking creatively about solving research problems.

“I started college with little background in the natural sciences. But within a few short years, faculty from the Division of Sciences at MMC provided me with the skills necessary for success in both my graduate and professional endeavors. Coursework in social science, philosophy, and religious studies have uniquely prepared me to consider the impact that research, in both the basic sciences and biomedicine, has on individuals and communities at large.”

Currently living in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Barbati considers himself a food enthusiast. He also spends time in the gym and focuses on his personal health. In the fall of 2016, he began medical school, where he transitioned away from research and engaged in clinical efforts.

This spotlight originally appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of MMC Magazine.