I attended UCR from 2004 to 2009 and majored in chemistry. Studying chemistry at UCR was stimulating and presented a lot of opportunities to participate in undergraduate research. It was here I discovered I had a knack for analytical chemistry and began doing research in Professor Larive’s bioanalytical lab where I learned a variety of analytical techniques and their application to biomolecules. While being involved in research at UCR, I learned of many other types of programs and opportunities out there for undergraduates to participate in scientific research, such as the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs. It was through this program that I was able to participate in analytical chemistry research at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio in the summer of 2008.
Being involved in research as an undergraduate inspired me to pursue a PhD degree in analytical chemistry. Having undergraduate research experience was key to succeeding in the graduate program at the University of California Davis where I am currently studying. Under the mentorship of Prof. Carlito Lebrilla, I develop mass spectrometry based methods for the analysis of glycans. My research has focused on milk glycomics, which involves the extraction, identification, and quantitation of the free oligosaccharides and glycoproteins that are present in human breast milk. Nearing the end of my fourth year of study, I am excited to see what the future holds! Currently my career goal is to continue with academic research as a postdoctoral researcher in the field of analytical chemistry, specifically in mass spectrometry, with application to glycomics and proteomics in nutrition and food sciences.