Molecular & Cellular Biology

Revealing the secrets of nature & educating next generation of science innovators

Eva Nichols Wins May 2014 MCB Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award

Eva Nichols Wins May 2014 MCB Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

How does one describe Eva Nichols? Objectively, we can say that she is a Molecular and Cellular Biology senior pursuing minors in Biochemistry and Microbiology who's conducted significant research in the lab. I would describe her as having a warm smile, a curious spirit, and a love for people (especially in her role as Pen Pals Coordinator for the Undergraduate Biology Research Program). Carol Bender, Director of UBRP states that Eva is "accomplished, personable, and very VERY responsible!" Hence, it comes as no surprise that this remarkable young lady was honored with MCB's Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award for her accomplishments.  Here's what Eva has to say:

What do you like most about the MCB major?  Being a MCB major allowed me to explore the core foundations of my research while having some flexibility to explore other areas in science that interested me.

What was your favorite science course in college? Organic chemistry 241A and 241B with Dr. Koerner. I liked the subject, but not as much as his entertaining teaching style and command over the lecture hall. He never took attendance, yet every lecture was packed with students sitting in the aisles. Through his courses I gained an intuition of how electrons move in organic reactions, which became important for understanding biochemistry.

How about your favorite non-science course? I really enjoyed taking ECON200, an introductory economics course. I liked it because it unexpectedly made me a more informed voter and enhanced my understanding of politics and current events.

What would be the single best piece of advice you would give to a fellow student? Appreciate the subject you are studying. It's easy to get stuck in the motions of coursework, but taking a moment to reflect on how amazing it is will leave you feeling less burned out in the long run.

What three things do you think you'll remember most about the UA? Space Shuttle Endeavour's flight over the University of Arizona, seeing President Obama at his Together We Thrive: Tucson and America memorial speech, and the third thing  would be a collection of small moments: afternoon coffee at Caffe Luce, a bowl of pho at Miss Saigon, exploring the 4th Avenue Street Fair, late night study groups, hiking with friends, playing pool in the Cellar Games Room, eating No Anchovie's gourmet potato pizza….and many others!

And where are you headed after graduation? After graduation I will be attending University of California at Berkeley's Ph.D. program starting Fall 2014. I would like to study host-pathogen or host-commensal (or even pathogen-commensal) interactions at the biochemical and cellular levels. I am interested in how these affect the host in healthy and/or diseased conditions.

Congratulations, Eva!