Class of 1999
University of Georgia, B.A. 2003
Yale School of Medicine, M.D. 2009
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Internal Medicine Residency 2012
Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Medical Oncology Fellow, 2012-present
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Chief Medical Resident, 2013-2014
Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard Medical School, 2014-present
When you hear “Grady Mock Trial” what is the first thing that pops in your head?
Late nights at the Powell Goldstein offices.
What is a particular moment or event that you recall from your time on mock trial that is most memorable? It could be a “favorite moment” or a “not-so-favorite” moment.
Not-so-favorite moment: in the state finals against Clarke Central in 1999, I made two small errors (one was a poorly considered objection, the other was a flustered response to their motion to redact a portion of a piece of evidence, which I should have just not contested because it didn’t matter). I am pretty sure those two mistakes cost us what would have been our team’s first state title, because the rest of our team was on fire and our defense team beat their plaintiff’s team by a point. As far as I can tell, those were the only two mistakes anyone on the team made. Turns out it didn’t matter, because we got them back next year!
Favorite memory: watching Sarah Nobles (our expert witness) absolutely dominate Clarke Central’s lead attorney in the same round.
Have you found that any of your experiences during your time on the Mock Trial Team have had an impact on you? If so, please tell us about that.
I definitely think so. It’s hard to know if it was tangible because my ultimate career path has had nothing to do with law, but I think the experience of thinking critically and working collaboratively on a shared project primed me to seek out those kinds of experiences in other realms, which I ultimately found in science.
Other than Mock Trial, how do you recall your time at Grady HS? The classes, classmates and teacher, the other extra-curriculars and non-academic activities?
I don’t think I realized at the time how unique that environment was. There were certain aspects of my education that probably could have been stronger, or at least more disciplined, but overall I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. We had an amazingly talented group of classmates and a dedicated core of teachers. The school’s setting, the diversity of socioeconomic backgrounds, and in particular the focus on communications through the magnet school gave us a particular experience that I only later realized was pretty remarkable, considering the more typical high school experience of kids who went to private or suburban public schools.
What did you do after graduating from Grady? College, travel, work, etc.
I went to the University of Georgia, then worked for a year at the CDC, then went to medical school.
I went to the University of Georgia largely because I got the Foundation Fellowship, an all-encompassing scholarship that also provided travel money and other educational opportunities. I wound up having a great experience that extended far beyond that program. If I were doing it all over again I would still go to a state school even absent the fellowship – I think it provides tons of opportunities without saddling people with the kind of crippling debt you get at a private university.
If you have not finished your formal education, what are you working on now and what are your plans when you do finish?
It depends on what you mean by formal education…I’m a board certified internist but am still in training for oncology and a postdoc in a cancer genomics lab at Harvard. I’ll finish my fellowship next year and will then probably go on clinical staff at Dana Farber but continue my postdoc until I’m ready to apply for a job as an independent researcher.
If you have finished with your formal education, please let us know what you’ve done since? Career? Family? Social or Political or Community or Religious Involvement?
Got married in 2009; my wife and I were in medical school and residency together and she is now an endocrinologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. We had twin girls in 2013 and also have a chocolate lab who is more psychologically needy than our two children combined.
What are some experiences that have helped you get where you are today?
It’s hard to pick out singular experiences. A lot of my path has really been shaped by specific people rather than a single experience – great teachers, inspiring friends, etc.
Any advice or words of wisdom that you have for current Grady Mock Trial Team Members or more recent alumni?
Don’t agonize too much about your life path while you’re still in high school and college – just find things you love to do, and hang out with people who inspire you, and your path will become apparent.
We are learning that Grady Mock Trial has its own language and each year’s team tends to develop its own catchphrases or terms. What are some of the catchphrases or terms that you recall from your time on Grady Mock Trial? And if there’s a story that goes with it, please share it.
Sadly, if such a thing existed when I was there, it is long gone from my memory. Although I do recall Chris Phillips saying, with great zeal (in response to a plaintiff’s attorney who kept harping on what a tragedy the harm suffered by the plaintiff’s child had been, “trage-deze!” But I can’t say that became a real catchphrase.
Would you be willing to act as a mentor or guide in certain areas? If so, in what areas would you be willing to mentor or guide students or younger alumni?
Sure. I’m probably best positioned to help those interested in medicine or the biological sciences.
To contact Chris, please email him at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.