Kati Young (Class of 2019)


What are you doing for your research project?

For my research project, I am studying a protein called Msh4. First, I created 9 strains of budding yeast in which specific amino acids of Msh4 were altered. Now, I am seeing if those alterations made a functional impact. In doing so, my research project investigates a Msh4 model from the Mukerji lab and uses the genetic manipulation procedures from the MacQueen lab to test this model in vivo.

Why did you choose to major in CIS?

I chose to major in the College of Integrative Sciences because I valued the hands-on experience you receive as a (fully funded!) CIS fellow during the summer, the ability to communicate that you develop from taking journal clubs outside of your area of expertise, and the ability to get academic credit for developing my coding skills without the demands of a typical double major. Through my Molecular Biology & Biochemistry major I was able to learn how to be a scientist in this particular discipline, through my College of Integrative Sciences major I was able to learn how to be an effective scientist through communication and coding experience, through my Science in Society major I was able to learn how to be an ethical scientist aware of my place within systematic forms of inequality and violence.

What activities do you do on campus?

*deep breath* NSM Coalition, WesWIS Steering Committee, Onomatopoeia acappella, Wesleyan Christian Fellowship and previously Eco Facilitators, Wesleyan for Women and Children, WesDivest/Students Against Fossil Fuels, Wesleyan Real Food Challenge, pit band member for 3 second stage productions, Interfaith Council, Wesleyan Science Outreach, WesReads, and Traverse Square. I’ve also been an RA, worked for the Chemistry Department, and served as a TA for four classes.

What are your plans after graduation?

I’m in the interview stages for some great positions which involve continuing in scientific research, teaching in the life sciences, or applying the quantitative skill set I’ve learned as a CIS major in other fields. I’ll keep you updated!

How did the CIS-linked major help you at Wesleyan and how do you think it is preparing you for life after Wesleyan?

The CIS majors have become a tight-knit community this year and I have really appreciated their support throughout the ups and downs of senior year! I also firmly believe that science must be communicated well in order to be effective. The ability to take something that you do every day and explain it in simple terms is elusively challenging, and working across disciplines is one way to hone that skill. Our generation will have to tackle problems which cannot be solved through any one discipline. In response, the CIS prepared me to problem-solve using insights from various perspectives and fields.

What do you do when you are not in the lab? (What’s your favorite hobby?)

My faith is a central component of my identity, so you can often find me at church or bible study. I also love hiking, singing, journaling, and bubble baths.