• Area of Study Cell Biology, Molecular Biology & Genetics

Where are you from?

San Francisco, California

What is your major and how did you choose it?

I am majoring in Biology with specialization in cell biology, molecular biology, and genetics (CMG) and minoring in Public Health. The CMG specialization is actually one of the things that caught my attention when I first started looking into colleges! I had the opportunity to explore a lot of different biology courses in high school, and found that I was most drawn to the more micro processes and pathways that is cell and molecular biology. While taking a genetic engineering class, I discovered both my love for genetics, as well as my love for research. The CMG specialization is the perfect way for me to prepare for the career in research I am seeking.

What is your favorite Biology course?

I am currently taking Intensive Cell Biology (BI213) with Professor Naya, and it is one of my favorite biology courses so far! I am passionate the material, and have found Professor Naya to be both engaging and humorous. I love how discussions are focused on learning how to read and analyze research papers, rather than just going over lecture material.

What kinds of research do you do?

I have worked on two research projects: The Role of p53 in Methamphetamine Addiction in C. Elegans and Using CRISPR Cas-9 to Visibly Reduce Expression of GFP in HEK293 Cells. The first project involved designing experiments to test p53 as a pathway for addiction using dopamine and serotonin agonists similar to methamphetamine. We studied p53 through the C. Elegan homolog, CEP-1. Halfway through the experiment however, a paper was published by a lab in China confirming the hypothesis through similar experimental means, causing a change in research direction. For the CRISPR Cas9 project, my team went through multiple iterative combinations of transductions and transfections using lentivirus. Our goal was to show successful CRISPR knockout in human cells by visibly, under a UV light, reducing the expression of GFP (green fluorescent protein).

Libby looking into a microscope for research.

What extracurricular activities do you participate in?

I am a member of the BU Medical Journal Club, the Pre-Medical Society and the Mind & Brain Society, as well as a Biology Peer Mentor and on the E-board for BU Women’s Rugby. I also work for Innovate@BU as the Social Innovation Program Intern, coordinating the First Year Innovation Fellowship program.

What is your favorite dining spot on campus?

Nud Pob in east campus is my go to!

What is the best place on campus to study or relax?

The top floor of Kilachand Honors College (KHC) at night and the basement of Mugar during the day.

What’s one BU tip you wish you knew sooner?

BU has so many different peer mentorship and fellowship opportunities! Connecting with upperclassmen (especially within my field) has helped immensely, from choosing which courses and professors to take, to adapting to college life and getting tips on how to manage my time properly. You don’t have to figure everything out yourself; there are tons of BU students who have had similar experiences that can offer insight!

What are your post-graduation plans?

After graduation, I am planning on pursing a MD/PhD and going into clinical research. I am interested in exploring the intersection of public health and cell and molecular medicine.

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