2016 Honor Society inductees S

A-C  D-G  H-I  K-L  M-R  S  T-Z

KayKay SanKayKay San, Saint Louis University
KayKay’s interest in science began in high school in a biomedical sciences class where she learned about body systems and the diseases associated with them. Her love of science kept growing from there, leading her to major in investigative and medical sciences with a minor in biology and healthcare ethics. Her research focuses on the characterization of oxaliplatin-resistant, colorectal cancer cells. Aside from research, KayKay is also highly involved on campus. She helped start the on-campus ASBMB chapter, served as president for its first year, and is now the senior adviser. Being a part of the ASBMB Student Chapters has given her many opportunities to explore her interest in research and to develop leadership skills and presentation skills. 

She is also an executive board member of SLU’s Asian American Association and K:ODE (SLU’s Korean Pop dance cover group). KayKay is a member of the Beta Beta Beta Biology Honors Society, Alpha Epsilon Delta (the National Health Pre-professional Honor Society), and Alpha Eta Society (the National Honor Society for the Allied Health Professions). KayKay’s career goal is to become a physician. In her free time, she enjoys music, dancing and traveling. 

Rhianna SeferianRhianna Seferian, University of Tampa
Rhianna thanks her high school biology teacher for introducing her to the world of science and biology, as well as the Conservation Discovery Corps at the Beardsley Zoo for giving her an environment where she could learn about biology and the natural world. She was introduced and inspired to do research by Dr. Rebecca Bellone and her questions involving the genetic inheritance of limbal squamous cell carcinoma in Haflinger horses. She currently works in the Spatial Ecology Lab at the University of Tampa with Dr. Bridgette Froeschke and Dr. Ann Williams looking at the antibiotic sensitivity of Staphylococcus aureus in the Hillsborough River. In addition to studying bacteria in the river running through campus, Rhianna is also the captain of the NCAA varsity rowing team. 

Her involvement in the ASBMB chapter has allowed her to volunteer in the community as well as network with other students. Her career goals are to earn an MD/PhD and to conduct research and practice in the field of pathology and infectious disease. She hopes to impact her patients directly with the research her team conducts and to have an impact on future generations. She also wants to return to academia and teach at an undergraduate institute to inspire other students to find their passion in life. 

Arman SiddiquiArman Siddiqui, University of San Diego
Arman has been interested in science since his childhood, when he spent most of his summers exploring the tide-pools around his Pacific Northwest home. He fostered his interests in the natural world and community engagement in high school by working as a youth educational intern at the Woodland Park Zoo and a lead outreach volunteer at the Seattle Aquarium. He will graduate with a double major in chemistry and biology from the University of San Diego. At USD, he works with several programs to mentor disadvantaged and first generation high school students who hope to go on to college. By making scientific knowledge and careers more accessible to the public, he hopes to help inspire future scholars.

Arman is now deciding between pursuing a PhD in either biochemistry or biophysics. He has spent a significant amount of time investigating the synthesis of a novel polymer with his primary research mentor, Dr. Peter M. Iovine. In addition, he spent the previous summer at the University of Wisconsin, Madison studying the mechanics of the voltage-gated potassium channel EAG1 with Dr. Gail A. Robertson. Arman aspires to become an academic scientist so that he may further explore biological systems.

Zarek SiegelZarek Siegel, Wesleyan University
Zarek has been captivated by science as long as he can remember. His father is a biology professor and some of his earliest memories are the nighttime walks they would go on, talking for hours about science of all kinds. When he got to college, Zarek knew he wanted to study the brain. He is excited on current research focused on answering the ‘big’ questions about thought, experience and action, thus bringing natural science into dialogue with social sciences and humanities. Zarek added a chemistry major with a focus in biochemistry after a few required classes in neuroscience sparked his interest. He realized that he finds the level of small molecules and individual proteins to be the most important and interesting in terms of understanding brain function fundamentally. He joined Erika Taylor’s lab at Wesleyan and began studying drug design and the biophysics of the bacterial protein Heptosyltransferase I (promising as a target for a new generation of antibacterial agents) as well as the human protein E1a binding protein p300 (a histone acetyltransferase involved in many cancers) using molecular docking. 

He hopes to pursue a PhD and a career in science, using computational methods to study the biochemistry of the brain in order to better understand the higher functions of the mind.

Christina SmithChristina Smith, Purdue University
In sixth grade, Christina had to build a 3D model representing a plant cell. The enjoyment she got from creating this model inspired her interest in science and led her to pursue a degree in biochemistry at Purdue University. She previously worked in Dr. Joe Kappock’s lab. She worked on the purification of an insoluble protein that could act as a potential antimicrobial drug target. 

She serves as president-elect of the Purdue biochemistry club where she oversees and participates in multiple outreach events. She aspires to obtain a doctorate of veterinary medicine at Purdue University while simultaneously receiving her master's in public health. She plans to become a veterinarian focused on disease control and admission. Through her career, her end goal is to create a safer plant, for both the human and animal populations. 

Peyton SpreackerPeyton Spreacker, Purdue University
Peyton’s love of science began at an extremely young age. When she was five years old, she owned more books than she could count on dinosaurs and the world around her. As she grew up, her passion for science shifted toward cancer therapies and understanding the complexity of this disease. She is working toward a bachelor of science in biochemistry from Purdue University. She has worked in an epigenetics lab since her freshman year, where she is focusing on the interaction between transcription proteins and components of the spliceosome. 

Peyton plans to go to graduate school for a PhD in biochemistry with a focus on cancer biology. Her ultimate career goal is to work on new cancer therapies at either a research university or at a drug company. When she is not working on her research or studies, she is involved at her church as well as the various student sections for Purdue Athletics. Being a part of the Purdue University chapter of the ASBMB has allowed her the chance to further her research and scientific knowledge through interaction with faculty and fellow students throughout the organization.