The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department is proud to be called home to some of the most outstanding undergraduate students in higher education. These students display a high level of dedication, not only in furthering their education but in their desire to be on the frontlines of scientific discovery.
Meet Anna, a graduating senior from Glen Rock, New Jersey, majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology. She has always been a curious person, always having the desire to learn and understand everything possible. “Science definitely satisfies the part of me that's constantly trying to figure things out,” said Anna. Her love and desire to learn coupled with the University’s atmosphere made her choose Penn State to spend her time as an undergraduate. “I have loved the atmosphere of Penn State ever since I set foot on campus,” she said. “The academic rigor combined with the tight-knit community atmosphere really appealed to me.”
Anna is an undergraduate researcher and is mentored by Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Kenneth Keiler. Her research investigates a specific class of antimicrobial inhibitors, which exhibit broad-spectrum activity against bacterial pathogens. She has characterized the growth inhibition profiles of certain compounds and found that they have the potential to be developed into drugs that could treat deadly pathogens.
In addition to her work in the laboratory, Anna has also been actively involved as a Teaching Assistant for the biochemistry and molecular biology department. As a Teaching Assistant for both microbiology 203 and biochemistry and molecular biology 212, her duties included a combination of weekly meetings with instructors, weekly pre-runs, preparatory laboratory and classroom work, management of online course materials, sharing of necessary content knowledge, and grading. It was through these experiences that she realized and developed her interest in teaching. “Over the last few years I have really enjoy teaching as well as my research,” said Anna.
After graduation Anna will be attending Harvard University and pursuing a Ph.D in Biological and Biomedical Sciences. She aspires to one day head a research group of her own and focus on fundamental questions within microbiology. Because of her mentors, the support she received as a student, and her experiences as a teaching assistant she hopes to in the future have the opportunity to teach and mentor the next generation of scientists.