By Nonie Arora

Hello there,

This is Nonie Arora, a freshman A.B. Duke Scholar from Novi, MI. I am excited to join the Duke Research Blog team.

I’ve been involved in research since my freshman year of high school. Back then, I was obsessed with the concept of “superbugs” and antibacterial resistance. I ordered E. coli out of a catalog with my chemistry teacher and tested its resistance to common household substances, like soap and bleach. My research interests evolved as I started working in a lab at the Wayne State University Medical School. For three years, I studied genes in a yeast, C. albicans, that contribute to antifungal drug resistance.

My research took me to different science fairs, such as the International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF) and the Intel Science Talent Search. At ISEF, being in a hall with 1500 other students from around the world – who were all enthusiastic about research – was incredibly motivating. I was eager for more research exposure. The wide variety of research present at Duke, from basic science to behavioral economics to clinical trials, is incredible. Being able to interact with renowned faculty as a freshman is a privilege.

Last semester, I was part of the Genomics FOCUS program and took classes with Hunt Willard and Bob Cook-Deegan. The captivating teaching styles of my professors coupled with a better understanding of how science affects society increased my passion for genomics. This semester, I am working in the Kontos lab studying protein interactions that may explain how endothelial cells maintain a resting state, which is relevant to cardiovascular disease.

Outside of research, I like to run, read the New York Times, and devour law thrillers. When I have the time, I indulge in watching The Big Bang Theory, House, and the Good Wife. At home, I enjoy spending time with my parents and my 11-year old sister. It’s probably easier to answer some of the questions that my professors propose than the ones she does!

I look forward to contributing my perspective on research at Duke.