Daisy Rosas Vargas

PhD. Candidate, Indiana University

I was born/grew up in: California, United States

I now live in: Indiana, United States

I completed my training/education at: University of California, San Diego - Chemistry, B.S.

Describe what you do at work.

I am a graduate researcher. In my specialty, I try to make carbon-carbon bonds in new and effective ways that nature cannot do. Each day, I test out new ideas through chemical reactions. I use the scientific method and simple math everyday. To analyze my chemical reactions, I use a giant magnet that interacts with the reaction products and creates a unique signal that is then processed through a computer program and can give me visual depiction of my product. A background in STEM will prepare me to solve challenging problems, in science and outside of science, using the Scientific Method.

When I was a student I enjoyed:

How does your job affect people’s lives?

My research provides new methods to create difficult bonds found in important molecules, such as medicines for human or pet cancer.

What motivates you in your career?

I get excited to test my new ideas everyday. One of the interesting things about chemical reactions is that they can make different colors. I never know what color they will turn!

When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:

Describe your career path to this career.

I tried to do well in high school. This helped my admission into a good college, where I took hard classes. After I graduated I took a internship in the pharmaceutical industry. I soon came to realize I did not want to do that as a living and applied to graduate school. I wanted to learn and make an contribution to the scientific community.

What activities do you like to do outside of work?

I like to run and go hiking with my dog. I also spend most of my weekends doing STEM outreach. I enjoy communicating the importance of all sciences.

What advice or encouragement would you give others seeking a similar career?

There is no straight path to a career. Explore and enjoy. Last but not least, do not be afraid to try new and hard things in STEM.


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