Meet Amber St. Martin

June 04, 2018

Amber St. Martin

Graduate Program: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics

Faculty advisor: Reuben Harris

Where did you get your undergraduate degree and what was your major?  
St. Thomas University, Biochemistry

What does your research focus on?
Genome engineering

What got you interested in studying this field?
When I first joined graduate school, the genome engineering field was drastically changing. TALENs had just been developed out of the Voytas Lab, and CRISPR/Cas9 was making an entrance. I thought it was amazing that with just a few plasmids and a couple of weeks, researchers could change nearly any gene in the genome.

Why did you choose the BMBB program?
I chose BMBB because of the wide breadth of research that was available. Research labs ranged from molecular biology to structural biology to biochemistry, and most labs combined all of the above.

What is something a prospective student should know about your graduate program?
When joining BMBB, you gain the support of the entire department. With annual student seminars and committee meetings, the department is there to make sure you're progressing at a steady pace and to offer insight where they can. They also provide support for students to attend conferences to network and present their findings, something that is very important to students considering academic positions.

What are your career aspirations?
After graduation, I would love to pursue a career in project management or consulting. In this career, I can apply all of the scientific knowledge and skills that I gained in graduate school, such as analyzing large amounts of data and communicating complicated ideas in a concise manner, to a business setting. I also love to share my knowledge and skills with other people. In project management, I would work directly with a team and clients, allowing me to work more directly with people.

What's your favorite thing about living in the Twin Cities?
Our city is beautiful and busy. If I'm in the mood to go out on the weekend, there are always events happening downtown or at the State Fairgrounds. If I'm in the mood to take my dog for a walk we have a large amount of parks and trails and dog parks that I can visit. I love that rain or shine, winter or summer, there is always something going on.