Interdisciplinary Opportunities

As one of the originators of the research institute concept, Oregon enjoys the advantages of an established institute framework, which gives us the strength and flexibility to move into rapidly emerging areas of chemical science. Students and faculty members are free to cross departmental and disciplinary boundaries to follow their curiosity and discoveries in chemical research by participating in joint research within the institutes.

Interdisciplinary Student Research Profiles

Graduate student Malvika Singhal

Malvika Singhal
Biochemistry graduate student

My name is Malvika Singhal, and I am a first-year graduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Oregon pursuing a PhD in Biochemistry. Before arriving in Oregon, I had the privilege of contributing to a variety of inspiring research questions such as how taste preferences evolve in ancestrally microbe-feeding flies and how neutralizing antibodies can be detected using chemically conjugated protein-DNA complexes. Outside of the lab, I am passionate about cooking, lifting, writing, and contributing to efforts that make STEM an inclusive space.

Associated lab: Hettiaratchi Lab, Knight Campus

Biochemistry major Megan Adamec

Megan Adamec
Biochemistry major

At the University of Oregon, I have already grown a lot and affirmed my desire to work towards a PhD in biochemistry with an emphasis in research related to life science and regulatory biomolecules. I have had a crash course in RNA biochemistry and physical chemistry, and through the Widom Lab I have started to develop an interest in DNA and Protein engineering, especially in systems where disease and health science applications are involved. The Knight Campus Undergraduate Scholarship (KCUS) provides an unparalleled opportunity to immerse myself in lab work that is relevant to both my career goals and current developments in science and technology.

Associated lab: Ong Lab, Knight Campus

Graduate student Justin Svendsen

Justin Svendsen
Biochemistry graduate student

Prior to joining the Hettiaratchi lab, I received my Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Western Washington University. My undergraduate research experience involved rational design and characterization of sortase enzymes, membrane-bound proteins on the surface of gram-positive bacteria that play an integral role in bacterial virulence, with modular substrate recognition for applications in human health and protein engineering. This work culminated in generating the first crystal structures of a sortase non-covalently bound to its recognition motif, providing insight into the mechanism by which gram-positive bacteria invade host cells and informing further characterization of sortases as protein engineering tools.

Associated lab: Hettiaratchi Lab