The Genius of Women in Science

Math geniuses

Each year, Scripps College undergraduates in the Joint Science Department participate in important publishable research in collaboration with faculty.

Sara Dawit ’10 is completing a senior thesis in molecular biology that promises both personal and professional rewards. Her research addresses aspects of neurodegenerative diseases and the lack of small molecule probes that could provide novel therapeutic strategies; she is working in collaboration with Dr. Stephen Traynelis at the Department of Pharmacology at emory University.

“Undergraduate research is what makes the Scripps experience unique,” she said. “I have long been interested in science and medicine, but it was not until my research experiences on- and off-campus that my interest grew into something more specific…This skill of approaching a problem, thinking critically, and producing real results is what graduate schools expect.”

Dawit presented her work at the Southern California Conference for Undergraduate Research (SCCUR) on November 21 at California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Dawit also traveled to Chicago in October, with seniors Clio Korn and Alexis Nast, to present posters at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, the largest international gathering of neuroscientists. Sara presented her work titled Identifying H3 histamine receptor antagonists as novel subunit-selective N-methyl­D-aspartate receptor antagonists. Korn and Nast presented work on Identification of Circuits Involved in Vocal Learning and Communication. With Scripps Student Travel Grant scholarships and support from the Joint Science Department and Professor Melissa Coleman, the trio spent six days with 30,500 leading neuroscientists discussing the latest breakthroughs in research.


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