Where are you from?

Vancouver, Canada

Why did you choose the combined BA/MA in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Biotechnology?

I originally applied to BU as a Biology CMG major, but switched to BMB pretty much immediately because I knew I liked chemistry. I like how this program has room for a wide range of advanced electives across both the chemistry and biology departments. I also like how the BA/MA is so research orientated, since it allows me to get credit for doing research.

What extracurriculars do you participate in?

I currently serve as the VP of BU American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. I’m also involved with the BU Choral Society, BU Sustainability, and the CSC Afterschool Program. In my free time I love to paint.

What kind of research do you do?

I jumped around a few different labs until I found my place. In my sophomore year, I took a neuroscience course and joined the Davison lab in the Biology department. That summer, I got a position in a chemistry lab at the University of British Columbia and found that I was definitely more interested in this more chemistry-focused research.

I am now working in the Perlstein lab investigating the proteins involved in the cytosolic iron-sulfur cluster assembly (CIA) system responsible for inserting iron-sulfur clusters into >20 targets. My current project focuses on investigating how the CIA targeting complex interacts with target proteins in S. cerevisiae.

How did you get your research position?

Dr. Perlstein was my randomly assigned academic advisor. After I mentioned that I was looking for a summer research opportunity, she sent over a recent publication by the Ryan lab at UBC knowing I was from Vancouver and suggested I inquire about available positions. I had a great time in the Ryan lab and decided to join Dr. Perlstein’s lab in the fall.

What is your favorite BMB-related course and why? 

I loved Biochemistry I & II. It felt like the BMB major was really coming together. Late in my sophomore year when I was taking mostly biology courses, I was worried that I made a mistake in my choice of major since I felt like I needed more chemistry, but biochem in junior year made me feel at home again. I can’t wait to take higher levels of biochemistry in the subfields that I’m interested in.

What is your favorite BU memory?

I’m super grateful to BU to have had the opportunity to study abroad in Grenoble, France, where I got to know so many new people and experience this beautiful city. Although the academics were no joke (cell bio terminology is even harder to learn through a french accent!), I still got to explore and travel. I also participated in the research internship course at the EPN Science Campus.

Sunnie in front of the Institut de Biologie Structurale.

Favorite dining spot on or around campus?

Pho Common in Kenmore is great for a quick bite before a long lab, and Cane’s in West is my favorite treat to myself.

Best place on campus to study or relax?

I love studying with friends on the 8th floor of Hojo or in the lounge on the Chemistry wing of SCI, but when I am really looking to hunker down to study solo, I like the Stone Science Library on the 4th floor of CAS.

What are your post-graduation plans?

I plan to pursue a PhD in Biochemistry or a related field. After graduate school, I plan to pursue a career that allows me to combine my passion for science and the environment.