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Vivian Mendoza-Leon

Vivian Mendoza-LeonVivian is a first-generation student, attending UArizona to obtain a B.S. in Biochemistry with a Microbiology Minor. She went to Douglas High School in a rural bordertown of south-eastern Arizona. She aspires to go to medical school after completing her undergraduate degree in May 2022, but would also like to continue doing research in her career. Last year this scholarship allowed her to focus on her studies completely during the pandemic. This year's scholarship will help her achieve her goals by funding her last year of undergrad, so she can focus on pursuing activities she enjoys such as research, clinical volunteering, and serving as a Chemistry and Biochemistry department ambassador and peer mentor. In the Schwartz lab, her past contributions include working on a project to characterize the normal function of the RNA-binding protein fused in sarcoma (FUS) that causes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) when mutated. Her work specifically focused on performing transcription assays with bovine serum albumin protein (BSA) to use as a control for determining the effects of FUS in transcription. The most recent project she worked on involved investigating the liquid-liquid phase separation properties of FUS, which she presented at the 4th Arizona RNA Salon Symposium last Fall.

 

Awards

Ronald Gonzalez Wildcat Spirit Award