Meet the REUs

Mallory deCampos-Stairiker

Home Institution: University of Portland
Research Project: Single molecule experiments on enzymes using nanopore tweezers
UW Mentor(s): Jens Gundlach

Q: What are your physics/science interests?
In terms of my future career, I'm really interested in biophysics. Biology is in large part complicated physics, and we can learn so much about biology by taking a physical and quantitative approach. I'm also really interested in astronomy and cosmology. I think the origin and nature of the universe is one of the greatest puzzles of all time.

Q: What are your other interests?
Outside of school, I've been a competitive dancer since I was 6 years old. Dance takes up most of my free time. I also grew up with horses, so I love to go horseback riding whenever I get the chance.

Q: What would you like to do after college?
After I finish my undergraduate degree, I'm going to take a gap year and then pursue some kind of graduate program. I haven't decided what program I want to do yet which is why I want to take some time off to think about it. I'm currently considering medical school, medical physics, and nuclear engineering.

Q: Tell us one strange but interesting fact about yourself.
I can lick my elbow. I heard it was impossible when I was a little kid, so of course I had to prove to everyone that I could do it. It took me a couple weeks to learn, but I've been able to do it ever since.

Q: What first sparked your interest in Physics?
Actually a high school English class first sparked my interest in physics. For an assignment, we had to read a book about nuclear war, and it made me so sad. I realized we still have a lot to learn about radiation and how it affects the human body, and that's when I decided I wanted to learn more about physics, and in particular, nuclear physics.

Q: If you could have any pet what would it be?
Probably a dolphin. They are so smart, and then we could go for swims together.

Q: If you had a free month and unlimited funds, how would you spend your time?
I love to travel, so I would probably travel around the Mediterranean region. I've never been there, and I would love to go to Greece, Italy, Egypt, and France. There's so much interesting history in that region.

Q: If you could get a grant to study anything what would it be?
I would study climate change and how to mitigate it. I'm really passionate about environmental issues.