It makes sense that identical twin brothers Joshua and Isaiah Gober would be interested in the same line of work.
After all, they share the same genes, the same parents and the same academic success.
The 2008 Flowery Branch High School graduates earned top honors then, Josh as valedictorian and Isaiah as salutatorian.
Last Saturday, they graduated from Southern Polytechnic State University at the top of their class again. Both brothers were presented with the President’s Distinguished Scholar Award in recognition for having the highest grade-point average of the 2012 graduating class. This was the first year in memory that two people received the award.
“It was good to see that all our hard work paid off finally after four years,” Joshua Gober said.
Isaiah said the feeling was hard to describe but was excited to accept the honor.
Greg Gober, Joshua and Isaiah’s father, said he is very proud of his children. He said his sons were always academically inclined.
“They were pretty much self-motivated,” Greg Gober said. “It’s not like we had to push (them) hard to keep up with academics.”
Isaiah said the study habits his parents instilled in him and his brother early on carried over and helped them with their academic success.
While majoring in chemistry at SPSU the twins often took their classes together.
“I guess being in a small school they didn’t have a lot of teachers who could teach the classes. We didn’t really have a choice most of the time,” Isaiah said.
While they may not have exactly chosen to take their courses together, they both admit having a built-in lab partner did have some advantages.
“I think it’s really helpful to have someone else, especially if you get stuck on something. You can just talk it out together,” Joshua said.
The brothers plan to continue their education together at the University of North Carolina, where they will pursue doctorates in chemistry.
They won’t begin taking classes until the fall, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be taking it easy this summer — both brothers were offered a graduate fellowship.
Isaiah will be working on research related to biomolecular recognition while Joshua will be tracking the locations of certain proteins in molecules.
Isaiah and Joshua both hope to continue working on research at the school for a few years after they’ve earned their doctorate in order to gain work experience.
Isaiah said his interests tend to lie in medicine and biotechnology. He said he thinks he would like to work for a pharmaceutical company one day.
“It wouldn’t necessarily have to be disease related, but I think that motivates me more than something else,” Isaiah said.
Joshua said he wants to consider his options. He said that while the pharmaceutical industry is appealing, he isn’t sure if there will be as many jobs for medical chemists in the future.
“I would like to work in industry. Either work at a pharmaceutical, national lab or a biotechnology company. But I’m not totally opposed to teaching,” Joshua said, “But right now I think I’d like to go where the money is.”