Student Spotlight: Kyrsten Holderby will present research at national conference


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Kyrsten Holderby, a senior biological sciences major, will present her research at a national conference this weekend.

Andrew Paisley, Campus Reporter

Kyrsten Holderby, a senior biological sciences major, will be speaking at a national conference hosted by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology on Saturday and Sunday in San Diego, Calif.

At the conference, Holderby will be presenting research she and her lab partners worked on about a protein called DCP2, which is found in a few tissues in the body as well as the brain.

“It is pretty unknown as to what DCP2 does to the body,” Holderby said.

“DCP2 produces a neurotoxic chemical in the brain that can cause strokes, Alzheimer’s disease and other diseases. We want to find out what DCP2 does on a molecular level.”

Holderby said they wanted to research DCP2 to know how to prevent and treat these kinds of diseases in the future.

Holderby took an AP Biology class in high school, which eventually led to her interest in the subject.

“We dissected all sorts of things, and it was all just very interesting,” Holderby said.

“It really opened my eyes to science and biology, and I knew it was what I wanted to do.”

Besides being president of Eastern’s chapter of ASBMB, Holderby is secretary of the Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Medical Honor Society, the pre-health honor’s society and a member of the biology ambassador’s society, which was started last year to recruit students from local high schools.

“We do a lot of fun science experiments all day to get kids interested in biology,” Holderby said.

“It is a lot of fun, and kids seem to really enjoy it.”

The ASBMB chapter serves to raise awareness and interest for biochemistry.

“We really like being a part of the chapter because it is a combination of biology and chemistry,” Holderby said.

“Biochemistry is very relevant in society lately, so we want to bring biology and chemistry together.”

Holderby started research at the beginning of her freshman year, which she said gave her more time to get projects done and get to know her professors better.

In two weeks, she will take her MCAT, which is a test that will help her decide where she wants to attend medical school.

“I love the idea of being a part of medicine,” Holderby said.

“I am not sure where I am going to attend medical school, but I know that I would eventually like to become an ophthalmologist because it is something that really interests me.”

Andrew Paisley can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].