Lee Gottesdiener is a senior Chemistry, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, and Neuroscience & Behavior Major at Wesleyan University. Lee grew up in New York City, where he attended Hunter College High School.
Gottesdiener's research, in the lab of Dr. Rich Olson, focuses on a bacterial translocation system. His project aims to understand the structure of a periplasmic adapter protein in a Type I Secretion System through X-ray crystallography, as well as study its functional associations with other proteins. Besides research, Gottesdiener is also involved in science outreach at Middletown elementary schools and is a teaching assistant for Organic Chemistry at Wesleyan. Outside of academics, he enjoys spending time with Wesleyan’s Korean Drumming, Tai Chi, and Kung Fu student groups."s
After graduation, Gottesdiener plans to spend a year teaching science in Singapore. He hopes to then return to the US and gain more research experience before pursuing either a PhD or MD.
Virginia Commonwealth Univeristy
Marymount Manhattan College
Sophia Levan is a senior chemistry and molecular biology double major at Wesleyan University with a certificate in Molecular Biophysics. Sophia grew up in Los Angeles, California and first became interested in science in high school after taking her first chemistry class.
At Wesleyan, Sophia is involved in multiple activities in and out of the laboratory. She is the co-founder and business manager of the student-run café, a writing tutor, a leader in the Molecular Biology majors club, and a volunteer with the on-campus AIDS and sexual health awareness group. Sophia’s current research is focused on the structural basis of host cell binding by the bacterial toxin, Vibrio cholerae cytolysin.
Following graduation, Sophia will begin research at the National Institute on Aging as a post-baccalaureate with the support of an intramural research training award. Sophia plans on pursue an M.D./Ph.D with the hope of becoming a biomedical scientist. When she isn’t researching, Sophia enjoys cooking and the outdoors.