Brittany Grassbaugh is in her second year as an HHMI Scholar and will be receiving her B.S. in Biochemistry this May. Before transferring to CSUF from Fullerton College, Brittany participated in the HHMI Weekend Research Experience in 2010 and also the HHMI Summer Research Experience in 2011. She worked in Dr. Melanie Sacco's molecular biology laboratory on the cloning of the tomato 14-3-3 gene family coding sequences throughout the summer and continued this research in her first year at CSUF. The following summer, Brittany was accepted to participate in the MIT Summer Research Program where she conducted research in Dr. Michael Strano's chemical engineering laboratory. Her research focused on designing and fabricating a polyacrylamide gel platform with embedded single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) to detect various antibodies.As an HHMI Scholar, Brittany currently works in Dr. Peter de Lijser's organic chemistry laboratory. She is now interested in the photolytic formation of heterocyclic compounds via intramolecular cyclization of oxime ether radical cations. She and another student are working together to finish this project and publish their results by the end of this semester. She recently presented a poster at the American Chemical Society's National Meeting in Indianapolis and has also presented posters at a few other local conferences.
At CSUF, Brittany has also been involved in the Supplemental Instruction (SI) program for the past five semesters. This program targets and provides assistance for courses that have had a high failing rate. She has been an SI leader for CHEM 120B, CHEM 301A, and also CHEM 301B. She has witnessed many students gain confidence and knowledge through the help of this program and the experience has made her consider teaching as a future career goal.
After graduation, Brittany plans to get some industry experience working at a chemical or biological research and development company and then will apply to PhD programs next fall. The HHMI program has opened many doors for Brittany and she cannot wait to see where the next steps will take her!