Dr. Phu Van – Renaissance Man and CHS CTE Success Story

Phu with Heartbreaker Guitar 2018
Phu with “Heartbreaker” the guitar he donated in 2018 (That’s his Mom in the background. She was visiting and makes great food!)

Dr. Phu Van donated a Fender Stratocaster guitar to School of Rock. This is his second donation in the past year.  He donated a rare Epiphone Les Paul a few months ago.  Dr. Van graduated from Capital High School in 2001, having taken many Career and Technical Education, CTE, classes.  He has been a supporter of the Arts and Technology programs at Capital for nearly twenty years. He is a scientist, photographer, muscian, cyclist, cook, and very good friend to a lucky few.

Some of Dr. Van’s Accomplishments

The Prince
Dr. Van’s book: The Prince

While a student at CHS in the Career and Technical Education technology class, he wrote a number of Linux operating system support documents including an instructional manual. He attended the University of Washington where he defended a wildlife science thesis and earned a two Bachelor’s degrees in 2007. He earned his PhD at Carnegie Mellon University in 2014. While at CMU, he built what was at the time the world’s most sensitive 2D protein gel imager. He used his photography experience from high school and college combined with his scientific know-how to create the imager.

He published a children’s book, The Prince, Kickstarter Info (with video about the book development), in 2014. Dr. Van has also created numerous photo books and even a cookbook. All of the recipes in the book were gathered by Dr. Van from various sources, family, and friends. As he developed the book, he prepared each recipe and shared them with friends. And what a friend!

Now he is working at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center on many important research projects from HIV and Tuberculosis vaccine candidates. Check out some of his GitHub resources.

One more thing.  Dr. Van, an avid cyclist, has raise money by participating in the annual Fred Hutch Obliteride, a fundraising bike ride for research. Check out his 2018 donation page.

Dr. Van’s Timeline Summary

  • 2000: Wrote LIST, LOST and LOCUST Linux documents as part of Mr. LeDuc’s InfoTech class
  • 2001: Started undergrad at UW with intended major of Computer Science, started part-time work at UW Computer Training, photographed for MUSICA a music newspaper
  • 2003: Declared undergrad major in Wildlife Science
  • 2004: First summer internship for US Forest Service as a Wildlife Biologist Trainee in Metaline Falls, WA (population 245)
  • 2005: Declined USFS offer for permanent job after finishing second USFS summer internship in Kettle Falls, WA (population 1100)
  • 2006: Declared second major in Physiology, started interning at the Institute for Systems Biology, started job at the UW Center for Clinical & Epidemiological Research. Applied for internship at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center but was rejected
  • 2007: Defended Wildlife Science thesis on an invasive rodent (Myocaster coypus) in Seattle and graduated from UW. Published first-author paper at ISB on an archaeal proteome
  • 2009: Started PhD at CarnegieMellon University
  • 2011: Built what was at the time the world’s most sensitive 2D protein gel imager. Started mentoring a group of CMU undergrads called the Proteomic Platoon
  • 2013: Began working on The Prince, an illustrated children’s book
  • 2014: The Prince is published via KickStarter. Graduated from CMU and returned to Seattle. Started working at FredHutch as a post-doctoral fellow, working on flow cytometry
  • 2015: Promoted to Systems Analyst working on HIV vaccine candidates. Started guest-speaking at the FredHutch internship program.
  • 2017: Promoted to Bioinformatics Analyst working on Tuberculosis vaccine candidates
Phu and Scott 2016
Scott Le Duc and Dr. Phu Van on a summer road trip