Ambassadors of Undergraduate Research

Shannon Cahill-Weisser is a senior who has discovered new career interests during her path through OSU. When she first came to the campus, she as a bioengineering major.  After doing a student research project in Dr. Skip Rochefort's polymer lab studying the chemical and physical properties of equine joint fluid, she realized how interested she was in the electronic equipment and data processing software that was so key to this research.  To find out more about electronics, Shannon joined the robotics club and worked on the Mars rover team.  She had a great time learning about all the different disciplines needed to complete a successful engineering project and as a result is now an electrical and computer engineering major. She has spent the last two summers developing human physical activity and gait analysis algorithms under the mentorship of Dr. Patrick Chiang and Dr. Christopher Scaffidi.

Samantha Colby came to OSU from Connecticut to study Merchandising/Apparel Design. She got involved with undergraduate research in Dr. Dee Denver's lab and switched her major to Biochemistry/Biophysics where she is one of the top students in her class. Watch Samantha discuss her undergraduate research experiences HERE.

Elise Cowley hails from the "thriving metropolis" of Winnemucca, Nevada. She came to Oregon State University through a non-traditional path and was initially a forestry major. After a myriad of visits to the registrar's office to change her major, she found a perfect fit as an Honors student in Bioresource Research (BRR) with a secondary major in Chemistry. BRR is the only certified undergraduate research major in the country. Through her academic advisor in BRR, Elise started working in Dr. Kerry McPhail's laboratory in her first year at OSU and has been there ever since, working on isolating and characterizing secondary metabolites of a cyanobacterium. The hope is that one of the new compounds will be a promising pharmaceutical candidate against cancer.  She also had the amazing opportunity to travel to Caltech this most recent summer to work in Dr. Dianne Newman's lab. Before she came to OSU, Elise had no idea what the concept of research even meant, but now is the biggest advocate for research to be found. Watch Elise discuss her undergraduate research experiences HERE.

Kelsey Drewry is a junior in the University Honors College majoring in Biochemistry and Biophysics. Her research is focused in bioremediation, using bacteria to clean up spilled crude oil. Kelsey is from Hillsboro, Oregon. Outside of her studies, Kelsey is the President of OSU's Equestrian Hunter/Jumper team and enjoys hiking, traveling, and baking.

Deepthika Ennamuri is a junior in the University Honors College, majoring in Biochemistry and Biophysics and pursuing a minor in Psychology. She is from Portland, Oregon. She spent the summer of her freshman year working on a Bioinformatics project reannotating the Phytophthora sojae genome sequences and creating a publicly accessible Phytophthora database. Currently, Deepthika is investigating  possible preventative spinal cord injury therapies in Dr. Debbie Mustacich's lab.

Sara Fassio is a student from Woodburn Oregon in her 5th year majoring in Microbiology and Spanish. She had a few significant research experiences as an undergraduate but a favorite has been working in Dr. Claudia Häse's lab for the last three years characterizing the virulence gene expression of Vibrio cholerae. She received funding from URISC and the HHMI summer research program while working in the Häse lab and also had the incredible opportunity to present research at the American Society for Microbiology General Meeting in San Francisco last June. Sara is currently working on her Honor's thesis based on research over the last three years. Research has become an important part of her education and she plans to pursue an MD/ PhD to do medical research in an area such as infectious disease. In her free time she enjoys traveling to new places, running, and crossfit.

Carmen Gondhalekar majors in Fisheries and Wildlife and has minors in Chemistry and Fine Arts. She comes to OSU from Little Rock Arkansas, but was originally from New York City. She notes that though she's far from home, coming to Oregon has offered her much in terms of social relations, education, and research opportunities. In fact, she just recently returned from an amazing research experience in South Africa where she participated in a wild buffalo disease project. Another research experience she has had was the study of fish parasites and amphibian infectious diseases. Watch Carmen discuss her undergraduate research experiences HERE.

Katy Krieger an Honors College student double majoring in English and Psychology. She has done a significant amount of undergraduate research in Psychology under the guidance of Dr. Frank Bernieri. Watch Katy discuss her undergraduate research experiences HERE.

James Leathers is a junior pre-medical microbiology student from Tigard, Oregon who works in a parasitology lab for the College of Veterinary Medicine and a pharmaceutical chemistry lab for the College of Pharmacy. He is passionate about research because of its application to his future career and because it allows him to continue to learn outside of the classroom. 

Connie Lee came to the US at age 15 for high school and a college education. She is an Honors College student, majoring in Microbiology with an interest in pre-med. Connie is a senior and is preparing to graduate in Spring, 2013. She has been working in Dr. Stephen Giovannoni's laboratory for 2 years. After starting out as a lab assistant, Connie participated in HHMI summer research and started her own research project (also her Honor Thesis), which is researching an efficient culture medium for the SAR11 marine microorganism. Watch Connie discuss her undergraduate research experiences HERE.

Bailey Lindenmaier is a senior majoring in Biochemistry/Biophysics who grew up in Bend, OR. When not busy with school, Bailey loves to do anything outdoors, such as skiing, hiking, running, and mountain biking. He is also working towards a minor in Anthropology. Bailey has been working in the Skeletal Biology Lab since the summer of his freshman year and has loved every minute of it. He is an aspiring physician, particularly interested in orthopedic surgery, so working in lab has been an invaluable experience when it comes to teaching about bone health. Bailey thinks that some of the most interesting experiments he has done are testing whether or not cancer treatment drugs are detrimental to bone, what effects alcohol has on bone fracture healing, and what factors influence artificial joint failure. Bailey says he can't recommend doing undergraduate research enough, regardless of what major you're in and says if you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to ask.

Stefan Lucchini began his undergraduate research career in the physical chemistry department and has since moved to biochemistry/biophysics.  He works under the mentorship of Dr. Victor Hsu studying protein-DNA interactions.  In his free time, Stefan can be found playing computer games or reading. Watch Stefan discuss his undergraduate research experiences HERE.

Sara Manley is a transfer student pursuing a double degree in Forest Engineering and Civil Engineering. After completing her AAOT at Clackamas Community College, Sara took a year long AmeriCorps sponsored job in Bellingham, Washington as a Riparian Zone Restoration Technician with the Washington Conservation Corp. That experience lead her to accept a Student Conservation Association internship at Grand Canyon National Park working as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Vegetation Program.

Maria Nguyen is a senior in Biochemistry and Biophysics who is ready to finish her last year here at Oregon State headfast and strong. For the past three years, she has been actively researching in labs both in and out of state and have received internships from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) at the local and national level along with several other research grants such as, CuRE and URISC. To Maria, research is a venue where she can be innovative, while contributing new knowledge at the same time. Research can become addicting because it is very exciting by nature, but just knowing the fact that the work she does affects the world in multiple ways is a huge motivating factor. Research has opened numerous doors for her. She feels that even if she were to not pursue a research career in the future, she is confident that the professionalism engrained in her will allow her to be successful in any field of work.

Ishan Patel is a senior majoring in bioengineering in the Honors College. He graduated from high school from Redmond, Oregon and is preparing to hopefully enter medical school. He has had research experience in blood chemistry at both Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, OR and at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Ishan hopes to better understand the role of blood coagulation during different disease states, especially cancers.

Omar Rachdi describes himself as a laid back person who loves to play French Horn at night, and toss a rugby ball during the day. He is a Biochemistry/Biophysics major at OSU from Troutdale, Oregon. Omar worked under Dr. Mas Sumbramanian in a Materials Science Chemistry lab for the past two years trying to synthesize CCTO in a thin film to make a longer lasting battery. He wants to professionally apply the research and the knowledge gained from his studies to something that will benefit all of humanity.

Minhazur Sarker is a senior in microbiology on a pre-medicine track. He grew up in Corvallis, OR and decided to attend Oregon State University because of the vast number of research and extracurricular opportunities at this institution. Currently, Minhazur is completing a University Honors College thesis project with Dr. Tory Hagen in the Linus Pauling Institute. The research project investigates the basis of aging and hopes to make the aging process less drastic. Previously, Minhazur was a student researcher in Dr. Manoj Pastey's laboratory in the Department of Biomedical Sciences working on HIV-1 protein interactions with mammalian proteins. Aside from academics, Minhazur spends quite a big portion of time stringing lacrosse sticks for his company, One-Heart Lacrosse. Watch Minhazur discuss his undergraduate research experiences HERE.

Annika Swanson is a junior at OSU majoring in Biochemistry and Biophysics with minors in Chemistry and Women's Studies. She is an out-of-state student from Spokane, WA and is a recipient of a Barry M. Goldwater scholarship. In the winter of her freshman year at OSU, Annika began volunteering as a student researcher in Dr. Robert Tanguay's lab where she investigated the toxicity of oxygenated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, molecules that are widely present in the environment, in developing zebrafish. She applied to and received grants from OSU and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for her research during the summer. Then as a sophomore, Annika studied abroad for an entire year in Lancaster, England and took classes to satisfy my major and minors while also traveling Europe and engaging in research in an on-campus biomedical research lab. Now, back at OSU, Annika will be resuming her work in the Tanguay Lab and is excited to learn many new research techniques to continue preparing myself for graduate school and beyond.

Oresta Tolmach is a student from Eugene who chose to go to the better school. (Go Beavs!) She is in her third year, studying Biochemistry/Biophysics, and has been conducting research at OSU since the fall of her freshman year. Oresta's research, under the mentorship of Dr. John Hays in the department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, examines the biochemical pathways of cancer development in cells damaged by environmental toxins. Watch Oresta discuss her undergraduate research experiences HERE.

Jessica Tran is a second year student from Tigard, Oregon studying microbiology and international studies. Prior to coming to Oregon State, she had no major research experience, but has accumulated a lot of skills and confidence through her work in a seed biology lab. Besides science, Jessica is also interested in English, with a strong passion for British literature. She loves cheesy jokes and plans to pursue a career in the medical field. Watch Jessica discuss her undergraduate research experiences HERE.

Justin Zhang is a junior from Portland majoring in Biochemistry and Biophysics who was just awarded a Barry M. Goldwater scholarship. He started research in Dr. Jeffrey Greenwood's lab in his freshman year and has been in his lab since then studying glioblastoma progression and nanoparticle toxicity on glioblastoma cells.Last summer, Justin got to participate in a research program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York studying autophagy and entosis. He encourages students who have any questions to please feel free to ask. Watch Justin discuss his undergraduate research experiences HERE.

Kris Zieb is an Oregon native who has lived in Beaverton most of his life. He is a senior in Nuclear Engineering at Oregon State and is engaged in research at the Hydro-Mechanical Fuel Test Facility at Oregon State's Radiation Center. Prior to that Kris worked with another professor of Nuclear Engineering on developing algorithms for a new beta radiation detector. When he's not studying for classes or doing research, he stays active, running trails, rowing, and almost anything mobile. Kris also really enjoys helping people with the academic process, helping students out with answers to questions or pointing them in the right direction.