|home > spotlights > archive > archive|
Southeast Missouri State University senior biology student Pam Acker has an opportunity that is the envy of budding scientists everywhere. She has begun a summer internship with Pfizer Inc., a genetics research lab based in Chesterfield, Mo. During the summer months, Pam will be working in the research and development area of the lab and assisting with research on genetic amplification of the bovine gene. This research is aimed at obtaining a protein from the gene that will allow researchers to test a drug designed to combat hypertension.
Pam says she applied for the internship over the Internet. Her skills as a scientist were also sought after by the prestigious Danforth Center and the Iowa State University Summer Undergraduate Research Program, both of which also offered her summer internship opportunities.
An outstanding student with a perfect 4.0 grade point average, Pam’s interest in science, in general, and biology, in particular, began at a young age when she was being taught by the person who first instilled a love of science in herᾰher mother. Home-schooled through her high school years, Pam’s first hero of the scientific world was the monk Gregory Mendel, whose studies of heredity using pea plants were the precursor for modern genetics. She says she also greatly admires the Jesuit priest and paleontologist Teilard de Chardin.
After her experience with Pfizer, Inc. this summer and her anticipated graduation from Southeast in December 2004, Pam hopes to find a job in the field of plant genetics transformation, possibly with Monsanto. Ever focused on her future goals and challenges, Pam hopes to someday work with researchers on the development of edible vaccines, a field whose exciting possibilities are only now beginning to be realized.