Alex Torson is a Research Computational Biologist at the USDA-ARS in Fargo, North Dakota. His expertise includes transcriptomics, bioinformatics and insect physiology. Most of his current projects focus on the transcriptional regulation of diapause and cold tolerance in many economically important insects including the alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata. Alex says his dream project would include breaking diapause by knocking down the expression of the phenotype’s key regulatory elements. In his role as a research biologist at the USDA, Alex most enjoys training and mentoring students.
Alex has always been interested in science, but his interests shifted away from medicine and toward basic and applied research after taking genetics and developmental biology as an undergraduate student. During Alex’s time as a postdoctoral researcher, he recalls his most memorable/embarrassing lab experience when he won the ‘brass nipple’ award in the lab for most expensive mistake of the year. Another Scientist in the insects unit, Arun Rajamohan, was the inaugural recipient of the award, and his mistake is the award’s namesake.
Had he not chosen to pursue his love of science and research, Alex would be either be a studio musician or restauranteur. He believes in maintaining a healthy work/life balance and that family should always come first. Alex and his wife live in Fargo with their two dogs, Gibson and Fender.