November 15, 2018

The McGrath Scholarship allowed Anna Mykytyn to work on a collaborative project between the chemistry and biology departments at Susquehanna over the summer of 2018.

Mykytyn ’20, a biochemistry major with a French minor, was given the opportunity to work under the guidance of Pavithra Vivekanand, assistant professor of biology.

She was one of the only two students working on a branch of a research project studying a compound called thujone, which has the potential to work as an insecticide and also has anti-cancer properties.

Mykytyn had previously tested the effects of thujone on fruit flies, but her summer internship was her first chance to work with cancer cells.

“This research was very exciting for me because I have been interested in conducting cancer research since my senior year of high school,” she says.

Mykytyn learned a variety of procedures and other cell biology material through her work.

“Since I will not be able to take a cell biology course until my senior year of college, I did not expect to work with cells much until then or learn various cell biology techniques and protocols,” she says.

At the end of the summer, Mykytyn and her mentors presented their work for the Landmark Research Symposium at Juniata College.

“Because of this scholarship, I have been able to gain invaluable lab experience, as well as investigate and solidify my career interests,” says Mykytyn, “I really enjoyed working on a new branch of the collaborative research project and acquiring laboratory skills and knowledge.”

Mykytyn is continuing her work on the project and hopes to publish the results of the project in a paper soon.