PhD Candidate, Chemistry (Fall 2015)
Hometown: Negaunee, MI
Melanie Talaga received her Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry with a minor in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota Duluth in May of 2011. She is currently working towards her PhD at Michigan Technological University, under the supervision of Dr. Tarun K. Dam. Her doctoral research studies glycobiology, which is an exciting new field at the forefront of biochemistry. Glycobiology deals with the structures, biosynthesis and activities of glycan and their roles in life processes. Her research goal focuses on characterizing potential cancer biomarkers and studying the binding interactions between current cancer biomarkers. This work is possible in collaboration with Dr. Haiying Liu and Dr. Reza Shahbazian- Yassar (Michigan Tech), Dr. Thomas Gerken (Case Western, Ohio), Dr. Rene Roy (Canada), Dr. Hans-J Gabius (Germany) and Dr. Benildo Cavada (Brazil). Melanie is influenced by the philosophy of collaborative research to reach her research goals.
Melanie is currently a teaching assistant in the Department of Chemistry at Michigan Technological University. She is the recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Teaching Award, nominated by her department recognizing her teaching performance. Her passion for teaching motivates her to introduce glycobiology into undergraduate and high school curriculums. Glycobiology is an essential branch of modern biological science and she would like researchers involved in glycobiology to take action introducing this field to the community.