Mentor: Dr. Penny Beuning
My name is Camille Vasquez and I’m a 5th-year Biology student from Ridgewood, NJ. I was drawn to the ROUTES program because I wanted to conduct research while having the support and guidance from amazing mentors. For my co-op, I will be working on engineering a DNA polymerase that can accurately replicate over oxidatively damaged DNA. More specifically, I am developing an assay to detect polymerase activity in a high-throughput manner.
On campus, I am a resident assistant, a swim instructor, and an avid knitter! In the future, I hope to apply the interdisciplinary research skills that I have obtained to my practice as a well-rounded healthcare professional. As a dentist, I want to bridge the gap between scientific discovery and accessibility of information to patients and I believe that the skills I will gain from this experience will help me accomplish this goal.
My name is Kaleigh McAlaine and I am a fourth year Environmental Engineering student with a minor in Marine Biology. I am excited to be a part of the ROUTES and PROTECT programs for my second co-op and to learn more about the intersection of public and environmental health and the ways research and science can improve community and environmental well-being. I was introduced to this nexus through a class at the University of Canterbury where we collaborated with a local Māori community to sustainably address water availability, economic independence, and reliable energy. I’m so grateful for that experience and hope to continue learning about and working towards more sustainable solutions to remediation problems, especially those affecting underserved communities challenged by environmental issues. While PROTECT is a comprehensive research and remediation program, I’m specifically working with the Northeastern research team to create a reliable in-situ ground water remediation system using electrochemical processes to make the drinking water safer.