2015 Honor Society Inductees N-R

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Samia Nawaz
Samia NawazSamia has been passionate about science since she entered her first chemistry class. She has performed award-winning research beginning in high school and extending through college. In 2013, she studied serotonin’s effect on platelet aggregation at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She also researched a methyltransferase inhibitor’s therapeutic potential on Richter’s syndrome in 2014 at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. Most recently, she investigated the prevalence of fluoroquinolone resistance in imported shrimp at the National Center for Toxicological Research. Samia’s research has been published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, and she has presented her findings at the American Chemical Society and American Society for Microbiology conferences. 

In her spare time, Samia enjoys reading, fashion design, music and mentoring. She founded her college’s chapter of She’s the First, and works every day to sponsor the secondary and postgraduate educations of girls in developing countries. Hoping to blend her affinity for science with her love of people, Samia will attend medical school at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences after graduation. 

Samia is very appreciative that being part of the ASBMB has contextualized her education. It has helped her stay informed of the latest scientific advances in biochemistry, and she looks forward to reading the ASBMB magazine every month. The ASBMB has made her perceive her studies as not those of an undergraduate, but those of a real-world scientist.

Christina Nevin
Christina NevinChristina has been very active at Siena College, dividing her time among resident assistant (RA) duties, campus government and scientific endeavors. She is now a mentor resident assistant, after spending two years as RA, and has volunteered for a variety of activities both off-campus and on-campus at the Career Center and the Admissions Office. She helped to organize the steering committee for Siena’s ASBMB chapter and is an active member of Siena’s Chemistry and Biochemistry Club. At Siena, she quickly found her niche in astrobiology and declared her major in biochemistry. Over the past three years at Siena College, she has researched and presented at various meetings on the energetics of peptide bond formation on the prebiotic earth as a part of the study of chemical evolution.  This project led to a summer Undergraduate Research Associateship at the Goddard Center for Astrobiology at NASA in Maryland, where she analyzed meteorites for PAHs.  She continues to help out in the chemistry and biochemistry department by setting up labs, managing the chemical inventory, assisting in safety training, and acting as a student laboratory assistant. She plans to get a PhD in chemistry and hopes to return to NASA to do more research and, ultimately, become a professor of chemistry and astrobiology.

Emily Newman
Emily NewmanEmily became interested in science as a junior in high school when she took a chemistry class. She was also interested in medicine, so she chose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry in a program where she could study the science she loved while fulfilling the requirements for medical school. Throughout her undergraduate career, Emily has worked part time at an on-campus coffee shop and been an active member of the Honors Program. She was elected the College of Science Representative to the Honors Council for her senior year. She has also participated in Women in Science activities and been a part of various campus events, including career fairs and the annual creativity and innovation festival. She has conducted research since freshman year. Most of her research was on a potential protein vaccine candidate against a bacterium that causes ear infections in children. Emily also spent a summer studying lipoproteins and researching the link between type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in adolescents. In her spare time, she enjoys running, watching television, and spending time with her friends. The past four years have been fun and exciting, and she has learned more than she ever believed possible. She is ready to move on to the next chapter of her life. She has chosen to pursue her interest in medicine and attend medical school. She has not yet decided which school she will attend, but her goal is to become a pediatrician.

Omowunmi Oluwo
Omowunmi OluwuOmowunmi first discovered that she was really interested in research science in high school, when a researcher came and spoke about his work studying malaria progression. His talk amazed her and showed her the impact that laboratory work could have in the real world. As a result, when she entered college, she really wanted to do research. Omowunmi currently do biochemistry research, studying enzyme kinetics. While she enjoys the sciences, she still enjoys other activities such as arts and crafts projects and learning new languages; whenever she goes to her local library, she looks through the language learning guides. When she is on campus, she volunteers with her campus's chapter of Habitat for Humanity and tutoring chemistry and biology courses. She also sits on the executive board for the Chemistry and Biochemistry Club at her school. In the future, she hopes to conduct clinical and translational research that aids in bridging the gap between the bedside and the bench table.

Dakota Pouncey
Dakota PounceyDakota is currently a senior biochemistry and molecular biology major and public health minor at Hendrix College. He is an undergraduate member of Dr. Grover P. Miller’s laboratory at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences who studies the hepatic metabolism of the anticoagulant warfarin. Unpredictability in warfarin metabolism drives adverse health events that include the formation of blood clots and hemorrhaging if under-dosed or overdosed, respectively. In collaboration with a group of clinicians and scientists, Dakota has helped to quantify the products from warfarin metabolism, warfarin metabolites, in both pediatric and geriatric patients and has investigated downstream clearance processes that impact these metabolite levels in patient plasma. The Miller group ultimately hopes to minimize adverse outcomes during warfarin therapy by employing warfarin metabolites as biomarkers for predicting pharmacokinetic variations in the clinic. Outside of the lab and class, Dakota is the head resident assistant of three residence halls on campus and vice-president of the local ASBMB student chapter. One of Dakota’s proudest accomplishments has been working with the ASBMB chapter to develop a weekly science outreach program at Wonderview High School in Hattieville, Arkansas. Coursework at Hendrix College and biomedical research in Dr. Miller’s laboratory has inspired Dakota’s pursuit of a career as a future physician scientist who brings basic science from the lab to the patient’s bedside. After graduating in May, Dakota plans to pursue a post-baccalaureate research position at the National Institutes of Health and ultimately enter an MD/PhD program.

Kyle Robinson
Kyle RobinsonKyle Robinson is thrilled to be a new member of Chi Omega Lambda. He currently attends Purdue University where he performs undergraduate research in Dr. Barbara Golden's lab. Kyle studies the structure and mechanism of the hammerhead ribozyme using techniques ranging from single-turnover kinetic assays to Raman spectroscopy. Because of this experience, he has developed interests in the fields of enzymology, structural biology and RNA biology. Outside of the lab, he currently serves as outreach chair of the Purdue Biochemistry Club, which involves organizing events on campus and trips to local elementary schools to perform experiments and demonstrations for students. The club hopes to stimulate young minds and inspire the next generation of scientists in the community. Kyle will attend graduate school in the fall, and he has a tentative plan to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical or biotech industries.