ASBMB Honor Society inductee

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Vivian Zuo

Biochemistry undergraduate student Vivian Zuo (Tseng-Zhu group) is one of 31 students nationally to be selected for induction into the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) Honor Society.  Zuo is the founder and president of the UCLA ASBMB student chapter.

“Vivian was keen on augmenting her biochemistry experience and took the initiative to start an ASBMB chapter at UCLA,” said nominator Professor Jorge Torres, co-faculty advisor for the UCLA ASBMB student chapter. “Vivian not only recruited the faculty advisors, she also recruited like-minded biochemistry students that were passionate about research and bioscience careers. This was no easy task, but Vivian managed to successfully launch the chapter.”

The ASBMB Honor Society, ΧΩΛ, is a prestigious distinction given to exceptional undergraduate juniors and seniors pursuing degrees in the molecular life sciences at colleges or universities with ASBMB student chapters. Students are recognized for their scholarly achievement, research accomplishments and outreach activities.

This year’s inductees will be honored at the 2024 ASBMB annual meeting during the William C. Rose Award for Exemplary Contributions to Education lecture and session on Sunday, March 24 at 1:50 p.m. in the Henry B. González Convention Center.

“Vivian kick-started the student ASBMB chapter here at UCLA, and her selection for induction to the ASBMB Honor Society is a fantastic way to recognize Vivian’s hard work both with the student ASBMB chapter and in the lab,” said Professor Danielle Schmitt, co-faculty advisor for the UCLA ASBMB student chapter.

Zuo is passionate about pharmaceuticals and the early diagnosis and treatment of cancer. She currently conducts research in the Liquid Biopsy lab (Tseng-Zhu research group) and has worked on projects using EV-based protein assays for the early detection of multiple cancers. Zuo is also involved in an epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) project, which utilizes the novel EV Click Beads platform involving click chemistry for the detection of EVs, a potential biomarker for early cancer diagnosis.  “I hope this approach can solve the unmet needs in cancer diagnostics and prevent the development of metastatic tumors,” Vivian said. “At the same time, I have a huge passion in combining Eastern and Western medicine to develop more affordable and accessible treatments for those in need. I plan to pursue a Ph.D. degree and continue my research interests.”

Outside the lab, Zuo serves as the president of the UCLA ASBMB chapter, which she founded in 2023. She is leading the chapter’s members in exploring topics in biochemistry and molecular biology. The chapter members have given presentations on accessing research and career opportunities in these fields, promoted the valuable resources provided by ASBMB, invited speakers to present their research and offer advice, and actively participated in science fairs and outreach events.

Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry,