My major is Biomedical Sciences and my minors are Spanish Language and Psychology. Biology majors have to take a senior seminar class and we have to have a mentor to complete the final presentation. I looked at the different professor’s profiles to see what I liked and would be interested in doing. I was really interested in what Dr. Ellis was doing in her lab so I went to talk to her and the rest is history.
The focus of my research is investigating how the capsule (thick, sugary coating) of the bacteria Klebsiella pneumoniae strain 43816 was altered after exposure to low levels of antibiotic over a 14-day period. The most significant finding was that capsule production did not increase over the 14-day period which did not support our first hypothesis. So, I’ve been working on determining how the composition of the capsule has been altered in this time period.
Being a Hicks Research Fellow was beneficial because it allowed me to attend my first ASM conference in a city that I’d never been to. It shows that the Hicks Honors College really cares about its students applying themselves in their major and wants to aid them along in any way they can. Being a Fellow allowed me and other students to become stronger scientists and researchers and apply what we have been taught in the classroom.
My capstone project involves the research I have been conducting in Dr. Ellis’s lab. It involves me investigating the changes of the capsule that has occurred in K. pneumoniae strain 43816 after exposure to low levels of the antibiotic cephalothin.
The Hicks Honors College has provided me with a sense of community and a family that is always there for me. They have taught me to be more independent and to be ambitious and go after what I want without hesitation. They have been integral in my studies here at UNF with providing me with great advice and counsel when I need it.
Don’t give up even though you really want to. It’s not a bad thing to be challenged and at the end of the day you are going to feel even more accomplished that you made it through.
After graduating from UNF, I am taking a gap year before matriculating to medical school. I will be taking the MCAT in April and then applying in May. In the meantime, I hope to stay in Jax, work and save up, and travel a bit before returning to school.
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