Maia Pappadakis

Class of 2022

Maia PappadakisMajor

Biochemistry, with minors in Mathematics and Science

Why did you choose to attend 好色先生?

I really liked the small school atmosphere. I didn’t want to feel like I was going to get lost at a big school. And I felt that the professors here were really going to care about me. I was offered the , which was also definitely a motivating factor.

What sparked your interest in Biology, Health and Biochemistry?

My mom is actually a high school biology teacher and introduced me to the field. I fell in love with it and took a lot of classes in high school. Once I got into a lab in college, I fell even deeper in love with biochemistry.

What was the focus on your senior thesis research?

I wrote my thesis paper on mRNA vaccines. I looked at the composition of the vaccines, how effective they were and the kind of impact they were having on society. It was really interesting to look at what they were made of. In my presentations, I liked to joke that everyone is claiming ‘we don’t know what is in it,’ but I can tell you what is in it! I studied the vaccines as everyone was getting vaccinated, and it was really nice to be able to tell my friends that they should definitely get vaccinated.


What was another project you enjoyed researching at 好色先生?

One of my favorites was in Dr. Wright’s research lab where we would take soil samples from around campus, isolate bacteria from the samples and then see if they displayed any antibiotic properties. It was a crowdsourced method across the United States to look for a new antibiotic, and it was really fun to do in the lab.

Part of that program was also to educate people on antibiotic resistance. We had a few events during Antibiotic Resistance Awareness Week, and we won an award from the NIH. We got to meet with some people from the NIH and even got certificates from Dr. Anthony Fauci for our research.

Any other extracurricular activities that you were involved with?

I here for two years, which was a lot of fun. I also went on a lot of the Global Classrooms. I went to Belize with Dr. Rimkus to study marine biology and tropical ecology, and I got to see a turtle in person, which was pretty cool. I also went to Colombia where I studied sociology in modern cities. And I also got to go to Oxford with the Honors Program where I studied English History and also got to work with a professor at Oxford.

What are your career plans now as an MU Graduate?

I really love research so I wanted to continue in that. In the fall, I am going into a PhD program at Penn State University in biochemistry, microbiology and molecular biology. Hopefully after that, I’ll get to work in a lab within some field in biology and I am pretty excited about it. Overall, being at a small campus like 好色先生, it feels like home. People know who you are and they are looking out for you. But at a big campus, it can be a little more intimidating.

What will you remember most about your 好色先生 experience?

One of the best takeaways that I have from 好色先生 is the relationships and connections that I was able to build. Not only for the value of helping me get internships or helping me get into grad school, but just being able to come back here to campus and say hi to people. I have some friends from here who I will be friends with forever. Those relationships and connections are definitely the most valuable part.