The Penn State Department of Chemistry Summer Research Experience for Undergrads (REU) is an annual program that hosts undergraduate students from other departments in the Eberly College of Science as well as other universities with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Chemistry and other foundations. The program holds a poster session where students showcase their summer research projects and compete for an monetary award.
Yuki Yoshida, a rising third-year biochemistry major at Penn State, was this summer's Chemistry REU overall best poster winner. Yoshida's poster highlighted her efforts to identify inhibitors of the activity of resistance-causing methyltransferases to block the development of resistance by bacterial cells expressing the enzyme. Her results suggested that such methylases can be targeted effectively by small molecules to avert the onset of resistance against clinically administered antibiotics. This award was supported by Arconic, an industrial company specializing in lightweight metals engineering and manufacturing.
Yoshida conducted her summer research in the Booker Lab under the guidance of mentor John Alumasa, an associate research professor.
"The Chemistry REU was an amazing opportunity to open my eyes to areas of research and possible career paths that I had no exposure to before," said Yoshida. "Furthermore, both Professor Squire Booker and my mentor, Dr. John Alumasa, encouraged me to independently think through biochemical concepts to navigate my own project. Working in the Booker Lab this summer helped me develop a strong foundation to confidently pursue my future aspirations."