By solidifying a postdoctoral research associate position at Princeton University’s Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, Melanie McReynolds has by far surpassed the goals she set for her scientific career.
“It is hard to find the words to express how I feel about accepting this position,” said McReynolds, who earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Alcorn State University in 2009. “I’m elated, humbled and blessed to have the opportunity to do my postdoctoral training at Princeton University. It’s a surreal feeling, but I see how all the work and effort over the years are paying off.”
McReynolds, who participated in the Bridges to Doctorate Program between Alcorn and Pennsylvania State University, will spend the next year researching biochemistry/biophysics with an emphasis on the core roles of metabolic regulation in regards to human health and disease. Her choice of study hits home for McReynolds because of the number of family members who suffer from metabolic disorders.
“The mechanisms behind health disparities continue to peak my research interests, particularly those associated with metabolic disorders. This is of a particular interest to me because of the alarming number of people that succumb to metabolic disorders and diseases within my family, such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity.”
During her time as a student, McReynolds gained quality scientific experience that shaped her passion for the field today. She was first introduced to biomedical research in Bangalor, India where she interned at St. John’s Medical College, which was an opportunity that she got while a student in Alcorn’s Department of Biological Sciences. She also participated in the Summer Research Internship Program at the University of Virginia and worked as a lab technician at the Army Environmental Research and Developmental Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
“At an early age, I found science to be very intriguing, challenging and rewarding. I have had the privilege of gaining research exposure and experience throughout my undergraduate and graduate tenure, therefore increasing my passion and strengthening my relationship for science. Overall, my experiences have provided me with the necessary background to ensure my success as a scientist. The art of being able to ask and answer any question is remarkable. Through science and research, I have the ability to tackle the health questions, concerns and issues that affect our communities most.”
McReynolds, a Louisville, Mississippi native, encourages others from small towns that they can achieve their goals no matter what challenges may lie ahead.
Melanie is a 2005 Louisville High School Graduate. She is also the daughter of Pearlean Yarbrough McReynolds and Columbus McReynolds.