Meryl Brune grew up in Union, MO, a town southwest of St. Louis. Science, biology especially, has always been a big part of her life. Brune loved marine biology, equine and veterinary science, and medicine even in elementary school. In high school Brune also enjoyed learning chemistry and physics, and knew that she wanted to incorporate the sciences into her future career.
At Drake University, Brune is involved with the UAN ASBMB, Pre-Medical Club, Alpha Phi Omega (professional service fraternity), Beta Beta Beta (professional biology fraternity), Chemistry Club, and the Student Alumni Association. After college, she hopes to enter the medical field. Outside of school, Brune enjoys reading, cooking and baking, theatrical activities and spending time with friends and family.
Being a part of the UAN has special significance for Brune because she co-founded and was co-president of the chapter with my peer, friend, and co-inductee into Chi Omega Lambda, Sarah Russell. UAN gave them a chance to take a leadership position while bringing Biochemistry students together. Additionally, through her chapter’s outreach activities, Brune was able to get out into the community to encourage high school kids to continue the pursuit of science after high school.
Dan DuBreuil grew up in Plymouth, NH, where he became interested in science during high school. DuBreuil wasn’t sure that chemistry was a good career choice until he took biochemistry at Otterbein University. After graduation, he will attend graduate school at Brown University to study neuroscience. DuBreuil hopes to be able to use his biochemistry background to ask neuroscience questions from a molecular perspective. After graduate school, DuBreuil hopes to continue conducting research.
Currently, DuBreuil works on perilipin-5, the youngest member of the perilipin family of lipid storage droplet coat proteins. His work examines an as yet uncharacterized variant of perilipin-5 that is expressed in oxidative tissues, such as heart and fasted liver. He received a competitive ASBMB undergraduate travel award to attend the 2011 ASBMB Annual Meeting where he presented his research. DuBreuil also attended the 2012 meeting in San Diego.
“Being a part of the UAN has allowed me to have an excuse to take a break from my jobs and school work to have fun with other biochemistry majors. As part of a small program at a small university, the biochemistry students are very close. The UAN lets us extend our group to new students and helps foster mentoring opportunities.”
Amanda Fisher grew up in Fairfax, Virginia. In High School, Fisher was homeschooled by her father, an Air Force retiree who specialized in nuclear physics. Her mother is a software engineer and has been the main provider for the family since Fisher was a small child. In the spring of 2012, Fisher graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a degree in biochemistry. In the fall, she will begin her studies at Virginia Tech's graduate studies program for genetics, bioinformatics, and computational biology. She plans to research gene expression networks as well as the design, simulation, and creation of novel enzymes and enzymatic pathways. Fisher's career goals are to enter industry after getting her Ph.D. and to eventually start her own biotechnology company after accumulating the necessary experience and networking contacts. Her company will specialize in custom-designing enzymes for green energy, recycling efforts, food production, and possibly much more. “I believe that genetic engineering and novel biology will be the source of mankind's next great technological leap forward, as the internet, the silicon chip, and nuclear power were for past generations.”