Distinguished scientist: Joshua Santarpia, PhD

February 07, 2022

Image with caption: Joshua Santarpia, PhD

Joshua Santarpia, PhD

This profile is part of a series to highlight the researchers who will be honored at a ceremony on Feb. 24 for UNMC's 2021 Scientist Laureate, Distinguished Scientist, New Investigator and Community Service to Research Award recipients.

Distinguished Scientist Award

The Distinguished Scientist Award -- which is sponsored by the chancellor -- recognizes researchers who have been among the most productive scientists at UNMC during the past five years.

  • Name: Joshua Santarpia , PhD
  • Title: Associate professor, UNMC Department of Pathology and Microbiology 
  • Joined UNMC: 2018 
  • Hometown: Ottawa, Kansas 

Research focus: Infectious bioaerosols 

Why is research important in the world today? 

The coronavirus pandemic has brought scientific research even more into mainstream thinking, and people have seen that research can help them improve their lives more than ever before. From developing new technologies, like vaccines and medical devices, to advising people on the best ways to protect themselves, science has improved the lives of many during this pandemic. 

My research will make a difference because:  

My research investigates the spread of infectious disease and develops new technologies for that purpose. We also identify ways to mitigate the spread of those diseases both through novel antimicrobials and new protective technologies. With this work, we hope to help understand the best ways to identify the spread of diseases and limit people’s exposure to them.

The best advice I’ve ever received is: 

It wasn’t exactly advice, but through many of my advisors and mentors, I have learned that something is only a failure if you don’t learn anything from it. It’s often the experiments that don’t work, or don’t work the way we expect, that teach us the most.   

Three things you may not know about me are:  

  • I’m an avid outdoorsman.
  • I have a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu.
  • My favorite authors are Ernest Hemingway and Kurt Vonnegut. 

Mike Wadman
February 07, 2022 at 11:25 AM

Congrats Dr. Santarpia! Glad to see this recognition. It is great working with you.