Major: Pre-professional biology
High School: Durango High School (Las Vegas)
Research Project: Archaeal Lipid Analysis
Mentor: Brian Hedlund, microbiology
What is an archaeal lipid analysis?
I have been to hot springs throughout Nevada and California, collecting sediment samples at different locations and with varying temperatures. We're working to identify lipids in archaea, one of the three biological classifications of life along with bacteria and eucaryota.
The samples will be sent to Tongji University in China, where I'll travel as part of UNLV professor Brian Hedlund's team this summer. So far I've collected close to 40 sediment samples from various hot springs, and I'll perform tests at a specialized lab in China to identify specific lipids.
What's it like to work on research with top professors?
I took microbiology with professor Hedlund last fall, and I admire the way he taught and how he dedicates time to his students when needed. I am always learning something new from him and from lab manager Mandy Williams.
How have your career plans changed since the McNair program?
I graduated from Durango High School in Las Vegas and always wanted to become the first physician in my family. While my career plans haven't changed, the McNair program has given me the chance to gain new insight on higher education and my future career.
How has the McNair program changed your perception of college and research?
McNair has provided a foundation toward a successful career path after my undergraduate experience. Being a researcher has been exhilarating. I am willing to learn and discover ideas and I'm excited to be a part of possibly making history.