Angela de Jesus recently represented Nyack College at the annual Science Education Alliance (SEA) Symposium held virtually this month. Biology and Chemistry Department Chair Dr. Jacqueline Washington proudly shares, “Angela presented her exciting work on the discovery of a new group of viruses that infect bacteria (bacteriophage) that students isolated from soil in fall 2019, just before the pandemic and the move to remote learning.”
The Nyack junior who is a biology major and hails from Quezon City, Philippines explains her passion for research. “Discovery is an important part of the field of science. It involves the ‘Aha!’ moments, but also the hard, tedious work. At Nyack’s lab classes, we deal with the discovery and study of phages, which are viruses that infect and kill bacteria. Through this, I’ve learned the importance of being able to contribute to scientific data and see the opportunities it provides. We try to build on the knowledge that we have in order to produce explanations to questions, such as ‘What characterizes a phage?’ or ‘How does a phage’s morphology affect adsorption?'”
Angela adds, “Lately, there’ve been more problems arising in regards with antibiotics. More and more bacteria are evolving to resist antibiotics. This is where phages come in. Phages are found almost everywhere. I believe that being able to isolate and discover phages, in itself, is already a contribution to the scientific world. Through the phages that have been found and research being done, it may help in developing a library of effective treatments for antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
This rising senior already has her sights on what will follow her graduation from Nyack. “I plan on pursuing further studies in the field of science and gaining valuable experience in the medical field.”
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