Photo by Orin Zyvan ’04

Shreya Shrestha ’10

biology

Hometown: Lalitpur, Nepal

How Reed changed me: When I got here I was anxious, naive, and struggled to adapt to American culture—we didn’t have warm showers in Nepal. I’ve become a better thinker, more curious, more open to new ideas. Thanks to my years at Reed, I know where I’m headed. I want to become a doctor and work on access to health care in developing countries and in the U.S. I know I can make a difference.

Influential book: Streptomyces in Nature and Medicine, by David A. Hopwood.

Cool stuff I did: Research! Came to love dogs (they tend to be a bit fierce where I come from). House adviser. Tutored at DoJo. Model United Nations. Saw the ocean. Learned to cook. Won J.W. Hairgrove scholarship and a McGill Lawrence Internship Award to bring medical care to underserved communities in Nepal. Went to a Metallica concert—it rocked!

Adviser: Prof. David Dalton

Thesis: Making the Good Plastic: Studying the Efficacy of a Novel Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) Expression System in Poplar

What it’s about: Bacteria-derived biodegradable polymer, poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB), has emerged as a potential solution to the environmental challenges of synthetic thermoplastic, which never breaks down. I looked at the effects of synthesizing this polymer in transgenic poplar trees.

What it’s really about: Growing biodegradable plastic.

What’s next: Do research at the National Institutes of Health. After that, medical school.

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