University of Wisconsin Oshkosh senior Kathy Senn, of Oshkosh, recently took her scientific studies abroad with the International Research Experiences for Undergraduates (IREU) program.
Senn, a double major in chemistry and biology, spent 10 weeks during summer 2016 in Singapore with the IREU program, sponsored by the American Chemical Society (ACS) and National Science Foundation.
The program sends young scientists to countries, such as Germany, Italy and Singapore.
The participants helped graduate students with their thesis projects. Senn worked with bacteria that cause diseases, such as pneumonia and swimmer’s ear.
“I looked at some of the proteins involved in giving people diseases,” Senn said. “We know one protein in particular does, but we wanted to see if it interacted with any other proteins. The future goal would be once these proteins are identified to make drugs against them.”
In April 2017, Senn will present her research at the ACS National Meeting in San Francisco, California. It is a gathering of chemists with different booths, research poster sessions and scientists giving talks about their research. Senn will have a poster and presentation.
Singapore was Senn’s second time traveling out of the country. She previously took a trip to Costa Rica, but Singapore was her first time living in a different country.
“It was amazing to see the diversity of people in Singapore, because there is such a mix of cultures, languages being spoken and different foods,” Senn said.
After this experience, Senn said she wants to continue to travel.
“Going abroad definitely makes me want to travel more and potentially consider working abroad,” Senn said. “It made me realize I can be independent.”
By Jenny Goldade, UWO alumni STEP writer.