Jasmine was in the Sears Law Library, the quietest library on UB’s North Campus, when she found out she’d won the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater award.
It’s not the best place for a celebration.
Instead of jumping around yelling, she managed a silent dance. “I was so excited, but there were people in front of me and behind me studying. So I flailed around some.”
Jasmine is determined to change the world. Having lost her 55-year-old father to brain cancer just as she was starting college, she wants to make some serious advances in cancer detection and treatment. She knew UB would give her the tools while enabling her to stay close to her mom, who lives in Niagara County.
People at UB spotted her talent right away. SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor Dr. Kenneth Takeuchi welcomed Jasmine into his lab after getting to know her in his chemistry classes. He’s now her academic mentor. “He’s amazing,” Jasmine says. “He’s so enthusiastic about the subject that he teaches, and he also really cares about students he sees potential in.”
Dr. Folarin Erogbogbo, a postdoctoral scholar, noticed her skills in a summer program for CSTEP (the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program). He was so impressed that he invited her to do an internship in his lab under UB Distinguished Professor Dr. Paras Prasad in the Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics (ILBP).
Jasmine’s research is focused on developing new tools to help better prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.
Now Jasmine’s working on developing new noninvasive cancer treatments, starting with detection: injecting silicon nanoparticles that go straight to tumor sites and glow under UV light, then get excreted harmlessly. This could replace current cancer detection methods such as painful biopsies.
She doesn’t spend her whole life in quiet libraries or with things that glow, though. Jasmine has been on the UB Dazzlers dance team and in the Combat Martial Arts Club. She’s taking Japanese now, with plans to study abroad in Japan this summer. She’s also made friends from all over the world, and that’s what she loves most about UB: the diversity. “I’ve learned so much in the two years being here that wasn’t intended for me to learn. It was just from talking to people, and I love it.”
Last updated: May 21, 2013 3:32 am EST