Biochemistry & Biophysics
Even before coming to RPI, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in scientific research. I was just torn about whether I liked Chemistry or Biology more. After my first year at RPI, I discovered there was so much cross-over between the two disciplines that I didn’t have to choose; in fact much of the work done at RPI was interdisciplinary. Therefore, I was super excited when I was invited to apply to the School of Science Accelerated BS/PhD Program.
After being accepted in the fall and completing a couple of lab rotations in the spring, I selected to do research with Professor Blanca Barquera. The focus of our research is to understand the physiological role of NQR, which is an important enzyme for creating the sodium gradient in certain bacteria, including the pathogens Vibrio cholerae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. I am currently working on a project to see how NQR is inhibited by the compound Korormicin, which I will have to synthesis myself because it is not commercially available. I am also assisting in another project that involves mutating specific cysteine residues of NQR to see how that affects its function. Both projects are heavily rooted in Biochemistry, but I have chosen to get my B.S. in Chemistry, with a Biology minor, so that I will have a solid background in Chemistry when looking at my research. However, I am considering getting my PhD in Biochemistry/Biophysics.
Outside of academics, I am actively involved with various groups on campus such as the RPI Players and the Women’s Mentoring Program. I spend any of my remaining free time volunteering at a local cat shelter, writing short stories, and traveling.