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Briana Alarcon

Forensic Science Graduate Student
Briana Alarcon
The Campbell Lab

Hello! I earned my Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with an Additional Major in Criminal Justice and Minor in Spanish from Michigan State University in May 2022. During my undergraduate career, I worked under Peter Neofotis in Dr. Kramer’s Plant Biology lab. There I learned the ins and outs of photosynthesis. I was able to gain a better understanding of how to use photosynthetic processes as alternate energy sources as well as research their enzymatic activity in relation to plant breeding and growth.

I’ve recently started the Master of Professional Studies in Forensic Science program here at Penn State and am on the chemistry track. I knew I wanted to go to Penn after visiting during interview weekend. Our faculty is excellent and welcoming and the program itself offers a little bit of everything to give me a fuller understanding of what forensic science encompasses. I was also pretty sold on the fact that State College is referred to as “Happy Valley”, I’ve loved being able to see the mountains every day! I’m originally from the South Suburbs of Chicago, so State College has been a nice change of pace. In my free time I enjoy running, baking, and FaceTiming my family!

Research interests

As for research I am working under Dr. Campbell and hope to focus on HPLC instrumentation and drug chemistry. I am really interested in learning how to efficiently separate hydrophobic molecules from HPLC columns because it can play such an essential role in helping identify drugs, such as benzodiazepines and fentanyl analogs.