Chemistry Senior Accepted into Graduate Program at Columbia University

Chemistry senior Emily Cambre
Emily Cambre, Chemistry Senior

Emily Cambre’s journey to Columbia University began in Fall 2016 when the New Orleans native started at LSU.  Emily shared “I chose LSU because I wanted to remain local and close to family but far enough to experience some independence.  I also knew from my first visit that LSU would help me navigate through my academic and career training.” 

Emily’s interest in chemistry began in high school. Emily stated “I had my first chemistry course in my sophomore year. For the first time, I felt like I had found my niche.”  After her freshman year at LSU, she desired a more interdisciplinary approach with interests in neuroscience and drug discovery.  Thus, Emily pursued a chemistry major with a psychology concentration. 

Since August 2019, Emily has been working as an undergraduate researcher in the laboratory of Dr. Paul Soto at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center.  Her research examines second-generation antipsychotic drugs on neurodevelopment and body composition. “I really enjoy working with mice models and it’s a topic with real-world applications,” Emily stated. 

When Emily isn’t working in the laboratory or classroom, she stays active as the vice president of the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society (SAACS) of LSU.  LSU SAACS works to create scientific interest in the community by providing chemistry demonstrations for groups that don’t have access to chemistry classrooms.  These community events inspired Emily to pursue an academic career.

This spring, Emily is working as a teaching assistant for the Chemistry 1212 course.  This basic chemistry laboratory augments students understanding of important concepts in chemistry through hands-on experiments.  “The biggest challenge with teaching is getting students who are normally not excited about chemistry to get involved with the material…I try to figure out ways to showcase the importance of the material and connect how it relates to the students’ career goals.” 

Emily’s advice for students is “Trust your gut… if I had listened to what others told me I should do, I wouldn’t be in the position I am in today” and “remain humble but focused.”  Emily will graduate in May 2020 and will begin her doctoral program in Pharmacology and Molecular Signaling at Columbia University Medical Center in August 2020.