Adrianna Arteaga is a senior majoring in Biological Science, with a concentration in molecular biology and biotechnology. As part of the HHMI scholar program, she has been doing research in Dr. Christopher Meyer's biochemistry research laboratory. Her project involves investigating the active site of the starch enzyme, ADP-Glucose Pyrophosphorylase, in a thermophilic bacteria, Thermotoga maritima. The goal of the lab is to bioengineer a highly active ADPG PPase into transgenic plants, to be able to produce high amounts of starch for food and biodegradable products. Adrianna has presented her research at the 2009 SACNAS National Conference in Dallas, TX, 2010 NSM ICC Symposium, and 2010 ASBMB Conference in Anaheim, CA. While at CSUF, Adrianna has been actively involved on and off campus in organizations such as Flying Samaritans CSUF, SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Latinos and Native Americans in Science), Ronald McDonald Camp for Good Times, and RockHarbor Church. Her goal after completing the HHMI research scholar program and graduating from CSUF is to attend medical school.
The HHMI research scholar program has been a privilege to be a part of and an invaluable learning experience. I came into the program without any previous laboratory experience, besides what I learned from my college lab classes, and now I am completing the program and my own research project. My mentors, Dr. Meyer, Dr. Matsui, and Dr. Linder have helped me every step along the way to ensure that my research, presentation, and problem solving skills developed. Doing research enhances learning, because we are able to apply what we learn in our science classes. Being involved in this program has taught me more than just research, I was able to learn how to manage my time more efficiently because I had to balance lab work and classes, I was able to learn about graduate schools by attending conferences, and I was able to develop my research skills in proseminar, at conferences, and during lab meetings. Overall, the program has provided me with the opportunity to gain skills that I will carry with me to graduate school and my professional career, and for that I am extremely grateful.