Graduated May 2006 | Major:Chemistry and Biochemistry
"I have been working on my honors research project in Dr. Paulo Almeida's lab in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department. With the help of Dr. Paulo Almeida, as well as Dr. Antje Pokorny Almeida, I have examined domain formation in mixed vesicles of sphingomyelin, cholesterol, and phosphatidylcholine or phosphatidylserine, using energy transfer between two fluorescent probes incorporated in the membrane. Changes in energy transfer reflect changes in domain sizes, which have been confirmed using Monte Carlo computer simulations. The effects of several proteins on these systems have been investigated. The dynamics of domain formation and dissipation upon addition or removal of these proteins have also been investigated using stopped flow fluorescence. This research has been supported in part by a Cottrel College Science Award from Research Corporation. Performing my own research has brightened my undergraduate career by giving me both experience and confidence in my field. With the support of a UNCW Chancellor's Teal Award, I will attend the 50 th Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society in February 2006, where I will present my research to a wide audience including students, both undergraduate and graduate, and experts in this field. I have found research to be a very rewarding experience in that I learn new things every day and have developed both genial and professional relationships with many graduate students and professors. This experience has shown me what graduate school would be like and what I have to look forward to in the future."