GCU Student Lands Prestigious Research Opportunity from National Science Foundation

Jennifer Matthews ’23 has always loved science but didn’t always believe in her ability to make it a career. She attended culinary school and took web design classes before taking a chance on the scientific field. Jennifer earned an associate’s degree in biology at Ocean County College, where she was an honor student, and then enrolled at Georgian Court University, where she’s excelled as a biochemistry major. This summer, Jennifer’s unconventional path is taking her to Princeton University as part of the prestigious National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program.

The REU has been offering summertime research opportunities at colleges across the country since the program began in the late 1980s. Jennifer is matched with a mentor, István Pelczer, Ph.D., director of the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Facility and lecturer in chemistry at Princeton University. For nine weeks, she’ll work with this renowned expert on research, focusing on mixture analysis using NMR data. “We’ll use statistical methods and tools to identify correlated changes between metabolites across a dataset and determine the significance of these differences,” said Jennifer. Such information could identify a metabolic profile of some inflammatory or disease conditions.

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