Q&A with biochemistry student Maggie Munoz

From Vancouver, Washington, Maggie Munoz recently graduated from WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. While she has wrapped up her undergraduate studies, she plans on staying on campus to continue her research on Lyme disease and relapsing fever in the lab of Dr. Troy Bankhead before pursuing a doctorate in molecular biology.

How has WSU prepared you for your future?

WSU has greatly prepared me for my future primally through the many opportunities for undergraduate research the school offers. Getting hands-on experience with the techniques and information covered in my classes not only makes the knowledge have a more lasting impact but also has given me valuable experience for my future career in laboratory research.

What’s your favorite thing about WSU?

My favorite thing about WSU is all of the amazing Cougs I’ve had the opportunity to meet throughout my time here. Not only have I made lasting friendships, but I’ve also gotten to meet amazing professors who have become mentors to me. I feel like I’ve made lasting connections that I will carry with me far outside of university.

What’s your favorite course you’ve taken at WSU?

My favorite course at WSU was Mbios 413 (biochemistry) with Dr. Offerdahl because the class connected all the individual topics covered in my previous classes into one big picture that made everything click for me. Dr. Offerdahl was also an amazing professor who really inspired me to engage with the class content in new and challenging ways. She was very passionate about the class and made me feel comfortable asking for help or trying out new ways of thinking about the material.

What do you hope to do when you graduate?

When I graduate, I am going to continue working in my current research lab (Bankhead lab) studying Lyme disease and relapsing fever. I then plan on applying to graduate schools in the next cycle to work on getting my PhD in molecular biology.

Do you have a job or work in a lab or somewhere else?

I work in the Bankhead lab and have since my sophomore year. I am currently working on an individual project looking at the mechanisms behind the bacteria that causes relapsing fever, specifically how the bacteria avoids being detected by the immune system. I have also been a chemistry TA for the past two years, both general and organic chemistry.

What’s one of your favorite hobbies?

I love crocheting and knitting in my free time, especially to make clothing and gifts for others.

What’s a unique fun fact about you?

A fun fact about me is that I can play five musical instruments, including trumpet, guitar, bass, flute, and ukulele.