Campus Celebrity: Elizabeth Seger

Born in San Jose, California, this third year Human Biology and Society major has a pretty impressive resume already. Published once already, Elizabeth Seger is as involved in her research as she is on campus! Read on to find out more about this week’s amazing Campus Celeb! 

1. So as an undergrad, I’ve heard your research has already been published. Where were you published and what was your research on?

                Yes! It’s very exciting. My first publication actually came out this November in the Journal of Immunology. It stemmed from the work I did this summer with the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute at the Oregon Health and Science University establishing molecular models for the disease progression of HIV.

                At UCLA I am currently researching noninvasive techniques for diagnosing and treating Non-Small Cell Lung Carcinoma with the Center for Head Neck and Oral Oncology at the UCLA Dental School. Another paper to come soon!

2. Do you have any advice for undergraduates that would like to get involved in research?

                Stick your neck out! That’s honestly the best advice I can give. There are countless labs at UCLA that are all conducting unique and cutting edge research. There is one out there for you. Spend some time researching labs that peak you interest and then start sending out emails to the PI’s. Its ok if the lab doesn’t usually accept undergraduates, mine didn’t. If you are passionate it will show. Never loose your enthusiasm!

3. What is the most rewarding part of taking part in scientific research?

                Knowing that you are doing something that no one else has never done before. You are literally on the front line of medical, chemical, biological, physical… innovation. The potential impact of your work on the word is limitless.

4. What organizations are you involved in on campus?

                Besides my research with the Dental School, I am a member of the UCLA Student Stroke Team. We work in the emergency department of the Ronald Reagan Medical Center identifying stroke patients and acting as the eyes and ears of the main stroke team in the emergency room.

                I’m also involved in the 3 choirs at UCLA. I sing with the UCLA Chorale and the UCLA Chamber Singers and I am president of the joint UCLA/USC Choral Lab. I’m also VP of the Choral Excellence Association at UCLA. I guess you could say I like singing!

5. What do you like to do in your spare time?

                Spare time?

                I love to paint, hike and hang out with my friends. If you haven’t gone on a backpacking trip with the UCLA Outdoor Adventures Group, you should. It’s an awesome way to get away from campus.

6. What has been your favorite UCLA memory so far?

                At the end of my second year, the UCLA Chorale combined with the Angeles Chorale to put on a huge production of Beethoven’s Mass in C Major in Royce Hall. There were near 300 singers on stage, 4 soloists, an incredible pianist and a full orchestra. We packed the house! That was a night to remember.

7. Any plans for after graduation?

                Right now the plan to pursue an MD or MD, PhD. But first I am going to take a gap year to continue with my research full time and then travel for a month or two.