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Junior prepares for career in cell biology research

If you are looking for Jessica Noll ’17, you might start in the lab. The junior biology-chemistry major from LaPorte, Ind., has already jump-started her research career with two summer internships.

Jessica’s first internship was at Michigan State University where she researched a plant protein to determine its functions within the plant. This past summer, she participated in the Discover Pharmacology program at Loyola Medical Center in Chicago, working with breast cancer cells and designing experiments for testing potential inhibitors.

The research experiences are “priceless,” says Jessica. “I had begun as a pre-med student, but fell in love with research both on and off campus. That caused me to turn toward graduate school and earning my Ph.D.,” she says. “My current aim is specifically toward pediatric oncology research, but cell biology in general has really captured my interest and research passion.”

Jessica is active on campus. She is president of MU’s chapter of TriBeta, the biology society; and treasurer of the Swim Club, Pre-Professionals of Science, Hispanos Unitos, and Self-Defense Club. In addition, she participates in American Chemical Society, Society of Physics Club and Yoga Club. She also works as a health assistant on campus.

With a passion for science and medicine, Jessica spent January session 2015 in Nicaragua with the Medical Practicum led by Associate Professor Jeff Osbourne. “The conditions of developing countries are well known and widely ‘understood,’” says Jessica, “so I thought I knew what I was throwing myself into. However, actually living within the culture in every aspect and experiencing the everyday lives of the Nicaraguan villagers was beyond inspiring. I developed a pure admiration of both the sheer physical and mental strength of the villagers, a loss of the perception of time, and the ability to search for joy in every living moment.”

Jessica says she’s grown in many ways at Manchester. “I have always felt accepted and trusted and that, in turn, has given me confidence in myself and my abilities that I will take with me out into the world.” She added that her experiences on campus and in the research lab “have helped me grow into the person I have become, a person ready to change the world for the better. I wanted a school where I could excel and achieve things I never thought possible, and Manchester showed me that possibility at every turn.”

By Tiana Maclin ’17

Save the Date for Homecoming
Oct. 23-24, 2015

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