Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) is funding the research of CHME junior Jocelyne Chavez in the biochemistry department under Dr. Shelly Lusseti’s supervision. The goal of their laboratory work has been to investigate cellular repair pathways and the specific proteins that aid in cell damage repair. Participating in research heavily dependent on biochemical processes has been a delightful challenge given my interest in biochemical engineering.
Ms. Chavez been involved with HHMI’s programs since the second semester of her freshman year when a professor recruited her to become a BioCat, where her role involved serving as a peer mentor and tutor for Biology 211 (an introductory biology course). During her time as a BioCat she worked closely with the biology department head, Dr. Michele Shuster. It was Dr. Shuster who nominated Ms. Chavez for the HHMI’s EXROP program after her acceptance into the NMSU HHMI research program.
The Exceptional Research Opportunities Program (EXROP) is geared towards helping under-represented students with an interest in biomedical research spend a summer gaining experience in their respective field. Ms. Chavez hopes this experience will help guide her decision about graduate school. She is futhermore excited about the intense focus on biomedical research.
Now that she has been selected, matching Ms. Chavez to an appropriate mentor will be the next step and will dictate which institution at which she will spend the summer of 2018.