1. Tell us about yourself and your background.
Hi everyone! My name is Olivia, and I was a part of the 2009 Raikes School cohort. I grew up just on the other side of Lincoln, where I attended Lincoln East High School. While in the Raikes School, I majored in Biological Systems Engineering. Throughout college, I participated in various summer research programs in Arizona and Japan as well as UNL’s UCARE program, which ultimately led me to pursue a PhD at UC Berkeley in Bioengineering. My thesis focused on developing new engineering tools to dissect the molecular signals that regulate adult neural stem cell behavior and, in doing so, better understand how to utilize these cells for regenerative medicine. The ultimate goal is to combat the devastating effects that result from, for instance, traumatic brain injuries or Alzheimer’s disease.
2. What are some highlights or key takeaways from your experience as a student in the Raikes School?
Reflecting back on my time in the Raikes School, I feel incredibly grateful to have shared these years with so many talented, bright, and kind people. I greatly enjoyed working on all the team-based projects (from the Industry Analysis project during our first year to the Union Pacific project during our second year to Design Studio during the last two years). I also can’t forget the Esther’s crew intramural teams (flag football and soccer)!
3. What have you been up to since graduating from Nebraska and the Raikes School?
One of the first things I did after graduating from Berkeley was getting a cockapoo puppy named Arthur! I have also continued baking as a hobby (beyond just cake balls for those of you who remember!).
4. Tell us about your current position, what drew you to that company and role.
I recently joined Adimab as a Scientist working in antibody discovery. Antibodies are truly remarkable and powerful proteins. Though small in size (on the scale of 10 nanometers), they assume a central role in our body’s defense against foreign pathogens by not only selectively targeting foreign entities but also coordinating our immune response to combat them. More recently, antibodies have proven to be a disruptive class of therapeutics as they can be harnessed and engineered to bind and block proteins and/or cells that give rise to various diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or ulcerative colitis, in addition to various types of cancers or viral infections (like Covid-19!). At Adimab, we partner with other biotech companies to deploy our proprietary technology to discover and optimize antibodies against desired targets.
5. If you could give one piece of advice to current students, what would it be?
Life is short, so take advantage of all that college has to offer! College isn’t just for resume building; it presents amazing opportunities to try new things and find your passions. Discover what brings you joy!