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What's Your Major? - Chemistry

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Category: academics Video duration: What's Your Major? - Chemistry
Eleanor shares her studies in medicinal chemistry and her desire for an in-depth foundation in chemistry as she prepares to apply to medical school.
Hello, my name is Ellie. I'm a third year medicinal chemistry major at Virginia Tech. As a chemistry student, I study the matter that makes up the world around me. I've gained an in-depth understanding of the properties, behaviors, and structures of these substances. I chose to study medicinal chemistry because of my deep interests in the sciences. I gained this passion in high school through my honors AP and organic chemistry courses, all taught by a teacher who guided me through both school and life. I also decided to study chemistry to create an in-depth foundation before pursuing medicine. There are four different pathways in the chemistry major. The first option is my major, medicinal chemistry. I chose medicinal chemistry to gain a more medical understanding of the subject and prepare for med school. But others in my major have chosen to pursue other health professors or go into research. The second option is polymer chemistry, which provides a deep dive into the properties of polymers, which are the building blocks for many new technologically relevant materials. The final two options are within the general chemistry major, which has two degree paths. A bachelor of science degree in chemistry gives an American Chemical Society certified in-depth understanding of the many facets of chemistry. A bachelor of arts degree in chemistry allows for a slightly lighter course load while still having a heavy focus on the subject. I'm currently doing research and Dr. Emily Mevers' lab in the chemistry department where I study biofilm inhibitors and the extracts of snail eggs. We work on finding new small products and under explored ecosystems. These natural products are essential to drug discovery as many key medicinal therapies such as penicillin or Taxol are naturally derived. After I graduate, I plan on going to medical school to become a physician. A major in chemistry, lays a large foundation in core subjects such as organic chemistry, biochemistry, laboratory techniques, and allows me to take other key classes and my schedule that a pre-med might need that also counts towards my major.