NCCU RISE Scholar Melony Ochieng is currently a junior at North Carolina Central University where she is a double major in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Chemistry. She is currently the president of the NCCU student chapter of the American Chemical Society and a coordinator of Women Inspiring Learning Momentum, a mentoring program for middle-school girls.
Photo: Nzingha Saunders
Aside from her leadership positions, she is currently working on developing a drug delivery system for breast cancer under the guidance of Dr. Darlene Taylor in the Department of Chemistry. In addition to her NCCU experiences, Melony has interned at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill doing research in biophysics, at the University of Adam Mickiewicz in Poznan, Poland, doing research in photophysics and photochemistry in conjunction with Dr. Stefan Franzen, North Carolina State University. This coming summer she will intern at The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.
In this post, Melony journals her experience at the 102nd Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). Melony competed in the undergraduate research caucus as a 2011-2012 AACR-Thomas J. Bardos Science Education Awardee. (Background on Dr. Bardos and his named award can be found here.) Melony's project with Dr. Taylor was to synthesize a nanoparticle conjugate of the poorly-soluble breast cancer drug, fulvestrant, to enhance selective delivery of the active compound.