CHRISTINE BOOK, Senior, Chemical Engineering, 2019
Research Program: IIFH
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Xi Chen, Chemistry
Research Title: Fortifying Infantile Health: Optimizing Fucosyltansferase Expression
Hometown: Bay Point, CA
Three words to describe me: fortunate, wanderlust, scatterbrained
What are your future plans and/or goals?
I'm hoping to enroll in graduate school and move onto computational biology while staying within the realm of glycobiology and natural products.
In what ways has engaging in undergraduate research impacted your future goals and plans?
Being in undergraduate research made me realize that I can contribute much more to the scientific community than I initially believed. Being given the opportunity to participate in research allowed me to solidify my aims for graduate school and broadened my scope for current developing projects.
What contribution(s) will your research make to your field of study?
Fucosyltransferases are proteins that build sugars that are commonly found as ingredients in human milk or on cell membranes. Developing a method to increase the supply of fucosyltransferases will support those in the field working in carbohydrate synthesis or in drug discovery!
What preparation and research experience did you have before applying to your research program?
I was very new to biology at the time I applied. I major in Chemical Engineering, so I had very few formal classes that would prepare me for the research I wanted to contribute to. After some time with the group, I gained more confidence through interactions with the members and their support.
What advice do you have for other undergraduate students seeking research experiences?
The worst thing that people can tell you is no, and the worst thing that happens after failure is getting back up. More importantly, plan your meals.
What else would you like us to know about you?
Although I love what I do, I still fantasize about letting go of everything and becoming a full-time musician. I settle for pretending to be Adele in the lab when I have to work late.