Student Chapters

Chapter president inspired by mother’s diagnosis

Kerri Beth  Boggs
December 01, 2018

When she learned that her mother had been diagnosed with colon cancer, Amanda Duplan changed her plans. Duplan was a freshman at Grand View University in Iowa, more than 1,700 miles from her family home in Sacramento, California, when she got the news three years ago.

“Instead of getting depressed, I’ve been inspired to help others going through similar situations,” she said.

Amanda Duplan, a senior at Grand View University, plans to pursue a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology with an interest in immunotherapy.

Duplan has always loved science, she said, but her mother’s diagnosis inspired her to get involved in research. Duplan started her freshman year on a premed track, but she found that her true passion was to study the underlying cause of disease.

Her undergraduate research focuses on engineering a PETase that will break down PET plastic more efficiently. Bonnie Hall, an assistant professor of chemistry, has played a major role in Duplan’s education at Grand View. Duplan started her research in Hall’s lab during her sophomore year, and Hall chose Duplan to work with her at the University of Iowa during a research fellowship last summer.

“She has been great at helping me through the bad times,” Duplan said of Hall. “She is an amazing person and an amazing professor.”

Hall also had a role in the founding of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Student Chapter at Grand View. Hall first learned about Student Chapters at an ASBMB annual meeting. She brought the idea back to campus and started the chapter with the help of Duplan and other students. She serves as the faculty adviser for the chapter.

This year, Duplan became the chapter president. She has worked to encourage involvement in the chapter by planning fun events such as a liquid nitrogen ice cream social. Duplan had wanted to make ice cream ever since she discovered the liquid nitrogen used for NMR experiments on campus. Chapter members worked as a team and invited fellow students to participate.

The chapter continues to grow, and science outreach is a major focus, Duplan said. “I like having a common goal of doing something for other people.”

Duplan also serves as her chapter’s student mentor for the Connect Researchers, Educators and Students, or CREST, group. Her group will design a physical model of a protein and present it at the ASBMB annual meeting in Orlando.

Duplan’s experience as chapter president has helped her become a better organizer and delegator, she said. She has strengthened her leadership skills by serving as a peer leader for science classes, a senior research mentor and the captain of the women’s bowling team. Her optimism and determination in the face of challenges have been instrumental to her success at Grand View.

Duplan’s mother is receiving treatment and continues her fight against cancer. “I’ve had to deal with many setbacks, but my family has encouraged me to keep going,” Duplan said.

Duplan will graduate from Grand View in May. She plans to apply for postbaccalaureate programs before entering a Ph.D. program in biochemistry and molecular biology with an interest in immunotherapy. Her goal is to be a professor so she can teach young scientists and do research.

Kerri Beth  Boggs

Kerri Beth Boggs is a graduate student in the biochemistry department at the University of Kentucky.

Join the ASBMB Today mailing list

Sign up to get updates on articles, interviews and events.

Latest in People

People highlights or most popular articles

2020 ASBMB election results
Member News

2020 ASBMB election results

July 14, 2020

Learn about the new members of the Council, Nominating Committee and Publications Committee.

Bjornsti, Justement begin FASEB terms, and other member news
Member News

Bjornsti, Justement begin FASEB terms, and other member news

July 13, 2020

Awards, promotions, milestones and more. Find out what's going on in the lives of ASBMB members.

Leadership on the cutting edge
Profile

Leadership on the cutting edge

July 06, 2020

Toni Antalis, the ASBMB’s new president, talks about reopening her lab after COVID-19 closures, how she’s repurposing anthrax toxins to fight cancer and the most interesting book she has read lately.

Enyenihi wins Emory chemistry award; Miesenböck shares Shaw Prize
Member News

Enyenihi wins Emory chemistry award; Miesenböck shares Shaw Prize

July 06, 2020

Awards, promotions, milestones and more. Find out what's going on in the lives of ASBMB members.

A virtual high school science fair — from the judges’ perspective
Student Chapters

A virtual high school science fair — from the judges’ perspective

June 29, 2020

When the pandemic forces a New Jersey science fair to go digital, judges and student competitors have to learn a whole new way of presenting research.

Koleske appointed Ensign professor; remembering Zena Werb
Member News

Koleske appointed Ensign professor; remembering Zena Werb

June 29, 2020

Promotions, honors, milestones and more. Find out what's going on in the lives of ASBMB members.