Precious Maryah Pate

Precious Maryah Pate, Undergraduate student, public health

Dissects protein's role in reproduction

“Precious is incredibly hard working, positive, curious, and determined. She really wants to make a difference when it comes to maternal health and especially, with respect to the terrible racial inequities in pregnancy-related mortality and morbidity in the USA.” – Maurine Neiman, professor, biology


Faculty mentor/advisor:
  Maurine Neiman, PhD, professor, biology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

What is your degree program and anticipated graduation date?
Bachelor of Science in public health, pre-medicine track, May 2024 graduation

Please describe your research:
I’ve been using a couple of methods I learned in lab to answer complex biological questions of how proteins are expressed in reproduction. Currently, I’m attempting to identify the germline within snails.

In simple terms, why does this research matter?
The information we gather will help us understand how proteins work during the stages when snails reproduce and grow as embryos. Once we figure this out, we can start figuring out why these snails have their specific ways of reproducing. My hope is that the methods I’m using can be adapted to other species in efforts of continuing to answer complex biological questions.

How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research?
I started research my second year on campus.

How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa?

Engaging in research has significantly boosted my self-confidence as a student. It has not only equipped me with valuable technical skills but also honed essential soft skills. Through research, I’ve had the opportunity to connect and collaborate with fellow researchers spanning various fields, broadening my network. Participating in research conferences has not only polished my professionalism but also refined my ability to effectively communicate complex ideas. The experience has endowed me with a plethora of critical thinking and problem-solving abilities that have greatly impacted my accomplishments during my undergraduate journey, and I am certain these skills will continue to serve me well in the future.

What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation?

I hope to go to medical school and become a physician once completing my undergraduate education.

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