“#IAmScience because I am endlessly curious and the world needs scientific solutions to our grand challenges.”
That is the attitude of someone who does her research with a purpose. Since the age of 14, Erica knew she wanted to pursue a degree in chemistry. Today, she uses that passion to research how anaerobic bacteria interact with uranium; essentially asking the question, “How do microbes and metals interact?”
What’s her end game? Improved health of the environment.
“#IAmScience because I need to connect the dots. How do all the puzzle pieces fit together? Why do things do what they do? How can I apply that to other things?”
For Sheryl Koenig, science communication is an enormous part of her daily tasks. She works with researchers and scientists during the grant proposal process to translate technical scientific concepts into persuasive and relevant content. Why? So that those scientists can access the means to expand their #MizzouResearch and make exciting breakthroughs. Sheryl literally helps turn their ideas and dreams into reality! #scicomm
“#IAmScience because the mysteries of the natural world aren’t going to solve themselves.”
Since the third grade, Marc Johnson never wanted to be anything else but a mad scientist. What began as experimenting with sprouting seeds and chemistry sets has blossomed into a career in virology. Specifically, he studies the “moves and countermoves” of viral components, a few hundred thousand at time! His advice for people wondering if science is for them: “If you’ve ever stayed up until 4 in the morning to finish a puzzle, you might be a scientist.”
“#IAmScience because I have an infinite curiosity and we have some powerful toolsets that I am confident will make a difference, not just in plant biochemistry, but in many scientific arenas.”
What change you would like to see in this world because of your research?
“I’m a technology junkie at heart. We are developing tools that can potentially advance many areas, and not just my own personal research program. I want to continue to build upon these tools and also apply them in a meaningful manner. On the plant side, I want to discover and characterize many new biochemical pathways, and use this information to make stronger, healthier and more productive plants. I also want to apply these cutting-edge tools to an ever expanding set of problems; i.e. cancer, veterinary medicine, nutrition, etc. I’m confident that every day when I get up, by the end of that day, week or month that we are making that difference.” -Lloyd Sumner
“#IAmScience because I want to discover. I want to ‘see’ – by understanding – things that others haven’t ‘seen’ before.”
Every day we make decisions based off on what we encounter in the environment. Plants do the same thing. Scott Peck, a Chicago-area native, is a biochemist who studies how plants translate information they receive about the environment (such as changes in light and temperature) into their own chemical “decisions”, also known as signal transduction. For him, it’s about making biology into a puzzle. Put the right pieces together, and you find ways to create more resistant crops or more effective antibiotics. With today’s technology and Peck’s passion for plant communication, anything could be possible.
“#IAmScience because during their journey all graduate students deserve expertise, care and advocacy from graduate coordinators.”
As Coordinator of Graduate Life Science Initiatives, Debbie Allen facilitates several activities supporting graduate recruitment, training, mentoring and career services. In other words, she’s been the “mama bear” to many life sciences graduate students over the years, and is passionate about student advocacy. To Debbie, while understanding the hard science her students study is important, supporting those students through their challenges and triumphs, and guiding them closer to their goals motivates her every day.
“#IAmScience because through my research, I can expand the bubble of human knowledge and I think that’s a pretty amazing thing. We don’t have a volcano, so we make our own.”
Imagine stirring rock. Sounds impossible? Not to Arianna Soldati, a volcanology expert conducting #MizzouResearch on the viscosity of rock. By heating and then stirring rocky material in a machine that acts like a miniature volcano, she identifies its viscosity, or thickness. As someone who has always been interested in volcanos, she is passionate about saving people from dangerous eruptions. “By knowing the signs, people are more likely to get to safety in time.”