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CBFG Profile: Nicole Adams (Class of 2011)

Nicole Adams photo

  • from Cheshire, CT
  • B.S biochemistry, minor in molecular biology Miami University 2011
  • M.S zoology Miami University 2013


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Miami's faculty, staff, and students shaped me into the scientist I am today and they continue to challenge me to grow into the scientist I hope to be.

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"Like most students, I fell in love with Miami on my first visit to campus, and after 4½ years, I just cannot leave! It was Miami's 'Goldilocks effect' that drew me in—that is, Miami offers diverse opportunities that are comparable to a big state school and the intimate feel of a small school. In addition, the university provides an excellent atmosphere that gets young students excited and involved in research.

"Miami's faculty, staff, and students shaped me into the scientist I am today, and they continue to challenge me to grow into the scientist I hope to be. I started working in a biochemistry research lab as a freshman. Working with a graduate student, I learned many fundamental laboratory techniques that acquainted me with the inner workings of laboratories and allowed me to apply concepts I learned in my classes to real world scientific problems.

"Subsequently, I received my own project, which focused on determining the structure of the human mitochondrial protein ETHE1. I was awarded the Howard Hughes Internship to work on my research (summer 2009), and I presented my research at 3 American Chemical Society national meetings as well as at the Miami University Undergraduate Research Forum. Through my work with the graduate student, I am a coauthor on 3 publications.

Green Oxford activity photo"During sophomore year, I joined Green Oxford, Miami's environmental student organization. My involvement in the club combined with an environmental principles class I took, refocused my research interest toward conservation. In the summer of 2010, I joined a zoology lab. My project assessed the genetic diversity of the aquatic invertebrate amphipods from the Chihuahuan Desert in western Texas and southeastern New Mexico. I presented my findings at the annual Society for Freshwater Science national meeting (spring 2011). Currently, I am finalizing the analyses and preparing a manuscript for publication.

"After graduating from Miami in May 2011, I entered the zoology graduate program. My master's project is the first study to look at genetic diversity within the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) of North America. I'm a teaching assistant for the introductory biology class, which has proven to be an invaluable experience that challenges me in my own scientific thinking.

"Throughout my research career, the Center for Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics (CBFG) has been essential to my work. I extensively used the ABI genetic analyzer to obtain DNA sequences for my undergraduate research projects, which will also be crucial to obtaining sequence data for the foundation of my master's project. The knowledgeable scientists that work in the CBFG are friendly and eager to help.

Miami football activity photo"It may appear that I am all science all the time; however, at Miami it's easy to accomplish many things in your field of study while pursing other areas of personal interest. In addition to Green Oxford, in which I was an advocate for recycling at Miami and in Oxford, I was a member of Save Darfur, an organization that raises funds and awareness on the human rights issues and genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. In addition, I served as president of the Miami Chemical Society, which I know is more science, but as president I learned valuable leadership skills that I now apply in other aspects of my life.

"Through Miami's numerous educational and cultural events, I saw noted figures such as the Dali Lama, Dan Rather, Van Jones, and John Prendergast. I also attended a variety of performances including a Diwali (Indian festival) celebration, the Russian ballet, the opera The Magic Flute, and the Sudanese rap artist Emmanuel Jal.

"At Miami, I've grown as a person and as a scientist. I feel privileged to have two more years here to continue to be stretched and challenged. "

[October 2011]

 

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