University of Minnesota

Biochemistry Student Profile

Name: Sarah Dremel
Anticipated Graduation Year:
May 2015
Biochemistry and Genetics & Cell Development
Appleton, WI

How and why did you choose your major?

Biochemistry is so integral to life. I love learning about different enzymes, and how small differences in composition fundamentally change their structure giving them an entirely different purpose. I settled on my major after taking BIOC1010: Human Health my first semester of college. I was fascinated by how different diseases affect the human body, and how in turn scientists devised ways to combat the pathogens.

Please give a description (in your words) of your major including the things you learn, favorite classes, and any challenges you have faced.

Biochemistry is the study of the various biological compounds present in organisms and how their structure, function and reactions are integral to life. Biochemistry explains what makes plants, animal, and human tick. It then explains how numerous, seemingly insignificant molecules come together to sustain and support life.

What types of experiences outside of the classroom have you had relating to your major? (i.e. clubs, jobs, internships, volunteering, study abroad etc.)

I've been working in Professor Seelig's research lab for the past year. I've finished a semester of Directed Research and am finishing my Spring UROP. My research deals with synthetic protein and enzyme evolution. I was also a teaching assistant for Biochemistry 1010: Human Health and disease this past fall. I would definitely recommend any Biochemistry or related majors to get involved in research right away, it makes later courses much easier and more applicable.

In your opinion, what is one thing, or one piece of advice that other students pursuing your major should know?

Biochemistry is a large field of study. It's not just about memorizing the numerous enzymes involved in cellular respiration and photosynthesis. Try and find the areas of Biochemistry that appeal to you, and find similar aspects of those "interesting" subjects in reactions or pathways that initially appear complex and boring.

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