Story in the College of Arts & Sciences
Kirstin Nosé '06
Research associate praises her undergraduate and graduate experiences in shaping her career.
As a full-time researcher in Associate Professor Ángel Islas's lab, Kirstin Nosé worked to understand how cells repair themselves after damage occurs in their DNA. Breakages in the DNA chain occur daily, but it's crucial for cells to fix or patch the chain. Hiccups in the process "can lead to mutations and eventually could cause cancer," she says.
Nosé continued her work in biotechnology with Roche, and now Genencor, where she studies enzymes that play a key role in the sweetener and ethanol industries. She credits her undergraduate research experience with setting her on this path, showing her that through biology it was possible "to do something that made a difference or contributed in some small way to benefit humanity."
As a research associate, it was her work with Professor Islas that helped further hone her skills, and paved a way for a future in biotechnology.
"Working in Ángel's lab was a great place to start out. It is a small lab and thus I was responsible for doing basically everything when it came to my research," she says. "It was because of this that I collected such a diverse group of skills ranging from cell and molecular to protein purification to biochemistry. Having a background as a renaissance scientist, per se, is favorable because the depth of experience is attractive to industry; not many individuals have the opportunity to gather the number of skills that Ángel teaches you in his lab."
Watch a video about research in SCU's biology labs below.