Pursuing a love of research

By Andrea Anastasio, ASBMB

Elizabeth Brown, St. Olaf College, is a recipient of the 2015 ASBMB Undergraduate Research award. She shares her plans for continuing her love of research. 

Elizabeth Brown, St. Olaf College

Elizabeth Brown, St. Olaf College

How and when did you first become interested in science?
I have always been one for exploration and discovery. I loved playing outside as a kid and was fascinated by our first grade project of watching a caterpillar’s metamorphosis into a butterfly. But it really hit me that I wanted to pursue science in my high school freshman biology class. This was when we first started learning about cellular mechanisms – DNA, RNA, etc. It fascinated me how intricate our daily bodily functions are, as well as all the checks and balances our body has in place to make sure that processes go smoothly and efficiently! From there, I have only become more and more interested in molecular biology. I look forward to pursuing it further!

Are you planning to attend graduate school after college? If so, in what field?
Not directly after college. Perhaps eventually and, if so, I would like to pursue a degree in a field related to biomedicine. As of right now, however, I am looking for a job as a laboratory technician.

Are you participating in any extracurricular activities on campus?
Yes! I am in The St. Olaf Band which meets three days a week for one and a half hours a day. I am also the Secretary/Treasurer of a club called the St. Olaf Molecular Science Club (or StoMolS). This is our campus undergraduate chapter of the ASBMB Student Chapters.

What kinds of research are you involved in currently?
Currently, I am continuing the research I conducted this summer under Professor Laura Listenberger. We are pursuing confocal microscopy of lipid droplets in order to determine the effects of choline deficiency on lipid droplet size.

What advice do you have for undergraduates wanting to get involved in research?
Make connections with your professors! It can be very intimidating at first but most of the time, professors do want to help you. You should do some digging into their research goals and pursuits so that you can make sure your interests match up with their interests. Stay in touch with professors and make sure you are open and willing to work with the professor to develop research goals that work for both of you.

What are your career goals?
I would ultimately like to pursue a career in biomedical research. Although I am not yet sure what path I will take to reach that goal, I am very interested in contributing to research that could help further the pursuit of therapeutic treatments of serious diseases.

What are your hobbies?
I love to be outside. Going to school in Minnesota has taught me to appreciate the nice weather whenever I can! My favorite things to do outside are run – along trails, in the woods – and hike. In the summer, I love canoeing and kayaking in lakes and rivers. I try to play tennis as much as possible while the weather is nice as well. Otherwise, I do enjoy some quality Netflix time, napping and pleasure reading.

Click here to learn more about the ASBMB Undergraduate Research award.

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