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Student Spotlight: Melody Guo

Melody's professional headshot wearing a grey suit jacket and black shirt

By Irena Garic 

Where are you from or where did you grow up?

I am from Los Angeles, California.

What made you decide to attend Northwestern?

I visited after I was accepted and liked the atmosphere of the campus.

What has been your favorite class you’ve taken thus far?

I don’t really have a favorite class since I’ve liked many of my classes in different ways.

Is there a professor that has made an impact on your academic career?

Regan Thomson, my PI. I’ve been performing research in his lab since the end of my first year at Northwestern, and this experience has inspired me to continue onto graduate school to pursue a career in research.

Tell us more about the research you are conducting in the Professor Regan Thomson’s Lab?

I synthesize natural product derivatives, more specifically prodiginine derivatives. The goal of this total synthesis project is to create hypothesized intermediates to test the proposed biosynthesis of a specific prodiginine-like molecule.

Tell us more about your responsibilities or favorite highlights as President of the Undergraduate Chemistry Council?

My favorite events we hold are Pizza Talks, which are mini-colloquiums for undergraduates, in which an undergraduate researcher gives a short talk about their research to an audience composed of fellow undergraduates, over a UCC-provided lunch of pizza. These talks offer an opportunity for undergraduate researchers to practice their scientific presentation skills, while also educating fellow undergraduates about the types of research that they themselves can do. 

What has been the highlight of your academic career thus far?

Becoming a Beckman Scholar, which gave me a 15-month research grant that allowed me to learn so much more about the life of a researcher than I would have otherwise. It enabled me to work on my own research project as an undergraduate, an opportunity that not all students have access to. Additionally, I was able to travel to national conferences where I gave poster presentations, allowing me to practice my presentation skills in a media that will be relevant to me throughout my career.

Where do you hope to be in your career in the next 10 years?

I hope to attend graduate school and then obtain a postdoctoral position at a research-focused university. My long-term career goal is to become a professor at such an institution.

What is your favorite Chicago staple food, Chicago dog (no ketchup of course) or deep-dish pizza?

I prefer Chicago dogs to deep-dish pizza.