Phil McCown graduated from the University of Michigan in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Molecular and Cellular Biology, along with an academic minor in Latin. He then graduated again from the University of Michigan with a Master’s Degree in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology in 2008. His bachelor’s research and half of his master’s research was conducted in the Anuj Kumar lab researching the yeast genome in its relation to pseudohyphal growth. The second half of his master’s degree research was in the Gary Huffnagle lab, researching the differences in the intestinal microbiome under different disease conditions. As a member of the Breaker lab, he is searching for and validating new riboswitch variants in all three domains of life using bioinformatics approaches.