Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Penn State Science
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Holly N. Wolcott

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Holly WolcottLike most aspiring scientists, I knew little about what it meant to do research when I applied to colleges. What I did know was that I loved science and wanted to learn more about it.

My experiences at Penn State cultivated my passion for learning and my desire to pursue a research career grew each year. At PSU, I worked with Dr. Joe Reese, participated in Penn State's Cooperative Education program and volunteered for the Penn State Association for Women in Science (AWIS). I'm happy to say that I've continued my extracurricular interests during my graduate career at Columbia University by managing Women in Science at Columbia and working part-time with Columbia's technology transfer office.

Working with Dr. Reese gave me the chance to experience lab research first hand and I loved it. The lab quickly became the place that I spent most of my time before and after classes each day and it wasn't because I had to be there. It was because I wanted to be there. After all, there is only so much that we can learn from a textbook, right? For me, research is both mentally and physically engaging and the decision to go to graduate school was an easy one.

I recently began work in a lab studying protein structure of cell adhesion proteins involved in cell differentiation, signaling, and neuronal diseases by x-ray crystallography. I thoroughly enjoy designing new projects and I am excited to see what will come next. As I continue to face new challenges, I feel fortunate to have discovered a career that I actually enjoy and my experience at Penn State played a significant role in guiding me to where I am today.