Q&A with microbiology student Ty Lewis

TY Lewis is a microbiology student at WSU.

From Puyallup, Washington, Ty Lewis is pursuing a degree in microbiology and plans to graduate in the summer of 2024. Following graduation, he hopes to work toward a doctorate in immunology.

How has WSU prepared you for your future? 

WSU has been great at helping me find myself and what I really love about science. When I first came to WSU, I did not have a true sense of where and how my degree was going to help me. The guidance from mentors, professors, and especially graduate preparation programs like the McNair Scholars Program has shaped who and what I will become. 

What’s your favorite place at WSU?

My favorite place is the Valley Road playfields. No matter what day or time it is, people are always looking for a competitive game of football, baseball, or even a quick race. The playfields help calm me – the best way to destress in my mind is by doing something physical, so I go to the field for a few hours and come back ready to do homework, an exam, or even simple things like cooking. 

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

My favorite course award must go to Dr. Hinz in Biology 107. He made biology fun and inviting. There are a ton of close seconds, but nothing beats a mitochondria “powerhouse of the cell” sticker. 

What do you hope to do when you graduate?  

I hope to take a year off from school and work with Dr. Bonnie Gunn to further expand my research and apply to graduate schools to pursue a PhD in immunology. 

Do you have a job or work in a lab?

I work with Dr. Bonnie Gunn on developing monoclonal antibodies for SARs-CoV-2, and we are looking to develop THP-1 cells and monoclonal antibodies to inhibit the binding to CD64, or better known as FC receptor RI (hFcgRI). The binding inhibition will allow us to observe if there is a dominant function of hFcgRI or if another function is more present through an immunoassay. In non-science terms, we aim to stop the production of a receptor on a cell and antibody to see either a loss or gain function. 

What is your favorite hobby?


I am a big video game guy, especially in the summer or on weekends with no class, you can catch me on the sticks on Call of Duty or sports games. 

What’s a unique fun fact about you? 

I am a pretty good graphic designer, as well as a videographer, so there’s always a plan B.