Adriana Alexander is anticipating graduation summa cum laude in June 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Cellular and Molecular Biology and a minor in Chemistry. After completion of her undergraduate degrees, Adriana is interested in pursuing a doctoral program in biomedicine with a focus in reproductive, developmental, and regenerative biology. Adriana is predominately interested in medical research involving developmental genetics, gene regulation, and human disease. Specifically, Adriana is fascinated by genetic and environmental mechanisms of germline development, reproductive and regenerative medicine, molecular morphogenesis, embryonic development, and neural tube defects.
Adriana’s dedication to scientific research is exemplified by her work at Southern Oregon University’s Biotechnology Center, University of Oregon, and the National Fish and Wildlife Forensic Laboratory (NFWFL). At SOU, Adriana’s research project titled “Geographic variation in chloroplast DNA in the California red fir-noble fir species complex” was presented as a poster at the Southern Oregon Arts and Research Conference in May 2014 under the direction of Dr. Oline.
Also, Adriana participated in an internship in the Bowerman Lab at the University of Oregon sponsored by the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates Program. Here, Adriana screened for temperature-sensitive, embryonic-lethal mutations affecting the nematode, C. elegans. Adriana presented a poster of her work at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) in San Antonio, Texas and won an award in the Cell Biology discipline.
Lastly, Adriana’s current work at the NFWFL entails estimating gene flow among populations over varying distances to characterize population structure and to test the potential of Y chromosome genotyping to resolve the geographic origin of black bears at regional and population levels.
Furthermore, Adriana is a first generation, low-income minority student who understands the importance of serving the community. Adriana is proud to be a Diversity Scholar and as part of that program to have completed 100 hours of community service volunteering at Asante Ashland Community Hospital and coaching a high school water polo team. Adriana’s undergraduate education has been supported by the National Institutes of Health Undergraduate Scholarship Program Award, Sherm & Wanda Olsrud Endowed Scholarship, Ralph and Mary Herbold Scholarship, Robert R. Robinson Memorial Biology Scholarship, Soroptimist International of Ashland Grant-in-Aid/Scholarship, AAUW, Medford Branch Scholarship, Great Lakes Scholarship for STEM Majors (2012-2013, 2014-2015), California State University, Northridge (CSUN) University Scholarship, First Generation Scholarship from CSUN Alumni Association, Honors at Entrance Scholarship from CSUN, and Emblem Club at the Elk’s Lodge Academic Excellence Achievement Award. Adriana is also a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, the Oregon Academy of Science, and Omicron Delta Kappa.
Adriana’s passion for serving others, in addition to conducting research, fuels her motivation for earning a doctoral degree. Upon completion of a doctoral program, Adriana hopes to apply her post-baccalaureate education in service of others as a medical scientist in reproductive and developmental biology.
Mentor: Dr. David Oline, Associate Professor of Biology