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Erin Hebert

From researching tuberculosis and pancreatic cancer to taking part in service and justice programs, I have opportunities to make a real difference because I’m a Bluejay. Here, we’re working together for the greater good.

Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences

When I toured campus and learned about the cool opportunities available, I knew I would be coming here. One of those opportunities is research. I’m a chemistry major, and recently I’ve been working on several research projects. The first involves tuberculosis. We’re monitoring compounds that can hinder progression of the disease by acting on certain enzymes.

The second involves pancreatic cancer, which is well known for its stealth and is often detected only late in its progression. We’re assessing whether the concentration of certain kinds of proteins increases over the progression of this type of cancer. If so, and if those proteins can be detected early at really small concentrations, then we might be able to detect it more easily.

Erin Hebert in chemistry lab

Chemistry is critical to all these projects, and I’m confident these experiences will be a big step toward a PhD in chemistry. I love that the projects are exciting, meaningful and full of potential to improve human life.

Outside the classroom, I performed weekly service and went on service trips over spring break my freshman year and again this last fall break when I served as a trip coordinator. Those trips allowed me to work with individuals in Omaha, Milwaukee and Clinton, Iowa.

Perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned here is that answers don’t always come easily and that’s OK. That’s certainly true in research, and it also relates to planning my future. I'm working to unfurl how I can put my education to the best use.

It’s a journey, and the journey is possible because I’m a Bluejay.
— Erin Hebert | Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences