|2017 alumnus makes Ivy League dean's list, conducts research|
|Monday, August 20, 2018|
Olivia Wedig, Class of 2017 - Wedig earned a spot on the dean's list and is continuing to conduct research during her first year at the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League school. Wedig is pursuing a bachelor's degree in chemistry with a minor in math while also "submatriculating" to earn her master's degree in chemistry at the same time she earns her undergraduate degree.
Wedig was also selected to work in the lab with one of her professors, Dr. Jessica Anna, along with other students, to use ultra-fast spectroscopy to investigate photo-initiated processes. Wedig's project is focusing on phylloquinone, an electron-acceptor in Photosystem I (PSI), with hopes of uncovering how PSI is so efficient at converting light to energy.
"I'm very excited to start doing research year-round instead of just summers," said Wedig, who also returned home over the summer to conduct research with Dr. Richard Mabbs, associate professor in the department of chemistry at Washington University. As a Pattonville student, she previously conducted research with Mabbs as part of the STARS (Students and Teachers As Research Scientists) program sponsored by several local universities.
Wedig is a member of the Vagelos Scholars Program in the Molecular Life Sciences. The program is for students intending to become research scientists within the context of biochemistry, biophysical chemistry, biotechnology, computational biology, gene therapy, genetic engineering, genomics, molecular biology, molecular genetics, molecular medicine, neurobiology, nanotechnology, structural biology or systems biology. The unique feature is an opportunity to work in a Penn research laboratory in the summers after both the sophomore and junior years with stipend. Forty course units leading to a bachelor's degree with two science majors are required. Alternatively, students can major in biochemistry, chemistry or physics and earn a simultaneous "submatriculation" master's degree. The program is based in the chemistry department of the School of Arts and Sciences. Freshmen are invited to join the program in April before their first September at Penn.