Erica Siebrasse '09

Erica Siebrasse '09

Biochemistry molecular biology major

Graduate student, Washington University, St. Louis, Mo.

Current projects

I am a third-year Ph.D. student in the molecular microbiology and microbial pathogenesis program. I am working on characterizing the novel polyomavirus WU, which was discovered in our lab a couple of years ago, in an effort to determine whether it is a human pathogen.

Undergraduate Research

I spent a couple of semesters and a summer working with Dr. Andrea Duina characterizing the Spt6 and Pob3 nucleosome interactions in yeast. Along with a couple of other Hendrix students, we published a paper in 2009, "Uncoupling of the patterns of chromatin association of different transcription elongation factors by a histone H3 mutant in yeast."

How Hendrix prepared me for success

I was actually more prepared than many of my graduate school classmates because of both the quality of my Hendrix classes and the availability of my professors to mentor and teach me outside of class. My research experience with Dr. Duina was instrumental in helping me decide to pursue a Ph.D. and gave me the basic set of research skills I needed to begin graduate school.

Future plans

Because of my wonderful experience at Hendrix, I am planning to finish my training and pursue a career as a professor at a liberal arts school. At Hendrix, I found I loved both teaching and research, so this seems like a perfect fit to me.

My advice

Take advantage of all that Hendrix has to offer. Participate in as many classes and activities as you can, because you never know what you will enjoy and what might become a lifelong interest.