Parlee Center for Science and the Common Good

All Majors & Minors

Jenna Pellegrino

Alumni CSCG Fellow / 2013 FUTURE Student

While my experience in the FUTURE Program reinforced my interest in scientific research, being a CSCG Fellow has helped me recognize the aspects of science that empower me act upon that interest. Additionally, CSCG has allowed me to better comprehend the importance and influence of scientific research, as well as recognize the need for effective communication between the scientific community and the public sphere.

My Major / Minor / Campus Organizations

Major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology / Major in French / Minor in Chemistry / Hillel /ASBMB / Le Cercle Français / Wind Ensemble

My Favorite CSCG Events

  • Dr. Bernard Harris Jr., astronaut and President of the Harris Foundation
  • Dr. Tyrone Hayes and Dr. David Skelly on the effects of atrazine on the endocrine system of male frogs
  • Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the proposed Soda-Ban in New York

My Research (FUTURE and beyond)

Before beginning my freshman year, I participated in FUTURE, a summer research program at Ursinus geared towards bringing research opportunities to students belonging to groups typically underrepresented in STEM. I worked with a senior in the lab of Dr. Amanda Reig, where I created and characterized variants of two di-iron carboxylate proteins, rubrerythrin and symerythrin, using the G4DFsc model system. I performed site-directed mutagenesis and metal-binding assays to investigate the dynamic role of active site amino acids in the structure and function of these enzymes. I’ve had the pleasure of partaking in the development of this project ever since and have moved this work into the analysis of the proteins’ catalytic activity. I’ve presented my findings at several off-campus conferences, including the CNMS Symposium (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016), the American Chemical Society (ACS) Conference (2014, 2015, 2016), the Intercollegiate Student Chemists Convention (2015), and the Philadelphia Inorganic Colloquium (2015, 2016).

My CSCG Courses

POL-399 (Science and the Common Good); PHIL-240 (Ethics); PHIL-246 (Biomedical Ethics); IDS-259 (Science Writing for Non-Science Audiences)

My CSCG Civic Internship

The summer before my junior year, I participated in a 5-week program abroad in Nice, France where I shadowed a team of doctors in radiology and nuclear medicine at CHU Hôpital Pasteur. I was able to observe patient consultations and examinations as well as attend board meetings, during which chief physicians discussed treatment plans for more complicated cases. I also took classes taught by health care specialists on the topics of culture and public health as well as the French healthcare system. This gave me a realistic impression of the day to day life of a physician and helped clarify the aspects of science that I love most.

Life After Ursinus

Fascinated by the complexities of protein interactions and networks, the structure-function relationship, and protein design, I will be attending graduate school in pursuit of a Ph.D. Being a CSCG Fellow has allowed me to better comprehend the importance and influence of scientific research, as well as recognize the need for effective communication between the scientific community and the public sphere.