New UCLA Biochemistry Undergraduate Student Group

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The Biochemistry Association for Student Enrichment (BiochemASE) is the first undergraduate student society serving UCLA students interested in biochemistry. 

Biochemistry is a unique topic and major at UCLA in that it requires many prerequisite courses before students really get to experience what it is. In fact, it may not be until into their 3rd year at UCLA that biochemisty students meet each other, meet biochemistry faculty, or even find out what their major is all about. In response, a group of undergraduate biochemistry majors wanted to create an organization where students interested in biochemistry could meet each other and discover what the major has to offer. The group’s mission is to provide support and mentorship to UCLA biochemistry undergraduate students as they navigate classes, research, and eventually career opportunities.

“It is basically a group of undergraduate students helping other undergraduate students” said BiochemASE’s mentor, biochemistry lecturer Dr. Heather Tienson (B.S. ’03, Ph.D. ’09 Biochemistry). 

At the meetings the members also share their enthusiasm for biochemistry with other members by discussing various applications of Biochemistry, such as a recent meeting topic – “The Biochemistry of Taste”.

“At the BiochemASE meetings students have the opportunity to network with faculty and graduate students in the chemistry and biochemistry department.” said board member biochemistry undergraduate Kevin Cory. “We have a “Meet the Professor” night every quarter which gives students an opportunity to hear more about the incredible research being done in the department and students also have a chance to find out about potential research positions and talk with faculty outside of class.“

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At a “Meet the Professor” night, Prof. Yung-Ya Lin speaks to the students about his research in a talk titled “How do you Celebrate a Life: Molecular Imaging, Nano Medicine, and Physical Oncology for Cancer Research.” BiochemASE was founded in 2014 by biochemistry undergraduate students Ani Aharonyan (’16), Christina Jayson (’15), Megan Cory (’15), and Sarah Hadley (’15), and Dr. Tienson. In 2015 the group started a mentorship program that assigns general student members a mentor who is either a BiochemASE officer or 3rd and 4th year student who they can contact for support or advice.  “One of our goals is to set up a means to help undergraduate students gain research experience by informing them about research opportunities in UCLA labs.” said Dr. Tienson.   “As we develop our organization, we look forward to growing the BiochemASE family and helping as many students as possible.“ Kevin Cory said. “Students from all majors are welcome to attend our meetings!”.  The BiochemASE meetings are biweekly from 6-7 pm on Tuesdays in Young Hall 2033.   The meeting schedule and more information can be found on the BiochemASE website and Facebook page.  The current BiochemASE board members are Dr. Heather Tienson, Allison Shay (External President), Fair Pisuttisarun (Internal President), Kevin Cory (Publicist/Webmaster), Summer Wang (Secretary) and Cyrus Jin (Treasurer).