Biology

Honors Spotlight Star: Samantha Beck

Samantha Beck (’20), a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major, is currently conducting research with Dr. Dale Cameron about observing differences in glucose due to the presence of prions in baker’s yeast.

Samantha Beck was asked some questions about her lab experience at Ursinus. 

Q: Whose lab you are in? 

A: Dr. Dale Cameron

Q: What is the title of your research?

A: Observing Differences in Glucose Uptake Due to the Presence of Prions in Baker’s Yeast.

Q: Can you explain your project using 3-10 sentences in lay-people terms so that a non-scientist could understand it?

A: Proteins are functional molecules in providing life to organisms. They can misfold from their proper shape and cause diseases. However, in yeast, some of these misfolded proteins, prions, may actually be beneficial in times of stress. I am looking for any differences in the uptake of the sugar glucose under normal conditions, as well as stressful conditions, to try to explain more of how/when these prions can be beneficial or any other biological consequences that may arise.

Q: What are your anticipated plans following graduation?

A: Hopefully going to graduate school (still waiting for decisions).

Q: What do you think is the most challenging part of doing research?

A: Trying to find out why experiments that should be working aren’t.

Q: What is the most rewarding part of doing research?

A: Adding to the understanding of the world and producing work with your name on it.

Q: What’s one specific memory of your time in the lab or at a meeting, etc?

A: All the ugly sweater parties at the end of the fall semester.

Q: Do you have any advice for other students?

A: Get into research as soon as possible! It helps to grow your confidence sooner and you get to work on a project which can be more rewarding.

Q: What you will miss about the dept/major when you graduate?

A: BCMB is a smaller major and we all get really close, especially by the end of BCMB II and PChem. I definitely will miss my fellow peers and all our antics.