Parag Chowdhury grew up in Little Rock, AR where he attended the historic Little Rock Central High School. During his 11th grade year he became very interested in epilepsy and he began working in a pharmacology lab. For his work on epilepsy, he received several awards from the US Navy and the American Chemical Society. Following high school, he attended a small liberal arts school called Hendrix College where he majored in Philosophy and Chemistry.
Following college, he worked in a neuroscience lab where he studied visual image formation and auditory processing in the brain. He soon entered into a doctoral program in Physiology and Biophysics at the University of AR for Medical Science. He completed his doctoral work in 2004. It focused on visualizing changes in the cellular architecture of migrating cancer cells using fluorescent probes utilizing time-lapse confocal microscopy (i.e. watching cells crawl around on dishes with big microscopes). He came to San Diego to do a post-doctoral appointment at The Scripps Research Institute in Structural Biology. His projects there involved visualization of synaptic vesicle components by cryo-electron microscopy (single particle analysis). Bigger microscopes to look at smaller things. In 2009, Dr. Chowdhury began teaching Biology at High Tech High (HTH), a progressive public charter school that emphasizes a project based learning approach towards K-12 education. As a former 11th grade teacher at HTH North County, Dr. Chowdhury worked with collaborative interdisciplinary teams of passionate teachers that connect with students, establish effective working relationships with parents and colleagues and that design holistic projects that transcend the traditional high school curriculum.
His aim as a teacher is to create authentic opportunities for students to participate in rigorous, impactful inquiry based science projects by bringing real science and scientists into his classroom. He has developed several collaborative projects with numerous scientists from the San Diego area (UCSD, Scripps, Salk, SDSU, San Diego Zoo Global/ ICR) in the fields of immunology, genomics, species conservation, oceanography, stem cell biology, bioinformatics and others.
Dr. Chowdhury is a dedicated and passionate PBL teacher who exposes students to social and environmental justice issues through the lens of Biology. He is excited to be one of the founding faculty at ℮³Civic High and to inspire young scientists in the heart of downtown San Diego.