Story posted October 21, 2013
My name is Van Tra, Bowdoin class of 2013 and biochemistry major. I’ve been working in the exciting field of antibiotics development in Professor Danielle Dube’s lab. Bacteria are rapidly evolving resistance to current antibiotic treatments, and there is a pressing need for new therapeutics to target disease-causing bacteria. In the Dube lab, we focus our research on the human gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori.
When I started this research project for my senior Honors thesis, I had performed biological research for two years, but I had no research experience in chemistry and wanted to explore this area in depth. In the field of antibiotics development, I had the opportunity to conquer organic synthesis, gain invaluable hands-on experiences with state of the art analytical instruments such as the NMR, LC-MS, and HPLC, and to access the faculties and expertise of staff at Bowdoin. Bowdoin is one of the few colleges that has such amazing resources available for undergraduate researchers.
Through a paid NIH-INBRE fellowship available through Bowdoin, I was afforded an opportunity to continue my research in antibiotics development for an additional year post-graduation in the Dube lab. This past year has been fantastically rewarding because I get to mentor undergraduate researchers, further the goals of my research, and collaborate with Professor Dube on her publications.
When I started this research project for my senior Honors thesis, I had performed biological research for two years, but I had no research experience in chemistry and wanted to explore this area in depth.
— Van Tra '13