Chemistry Graduate Student Gisele Andree describes her research and answers 20 random questions as part of the Graduate Student Spotlight series.
Originally from Western Massachusetts (in a town so small there were no traffic lights!), Gisele Andree is a first year graduate student in Professor Catherine Drennan‘s research group. There, she studies the structures of different ribonucleotide reductase enzymes with the goal of understanding the molecular basis for substrate and inhibitor binding, allosteric regulation, and radical generation/radical transfer.
As the subject of this month’s Graduate Student Spotlight, Gisele shares the hobby she’d take up with unlimited time and funds, the movie she can watch on repeat, the person she’d like to narrate her life, and more!
- How did you decide to do the work you are doing now?
I did MSRP Bio one summer and worked in Cathy Drennan’s lab, where I was introduced to structural biology. I absolutely loved the research and the lab environment and knew that I wanted to come back and continue to learn more!
- What hobby would you get into if time and money weren’t an issue?
Beekeeping. There are a lot of upfront costs and a lot of maintenance costs. You also need a yard to put a beehive in and beekeeping is technically illegal in Cambridge.
- What fictional place would you most like to go?
The world from Avatar: The Last Airbender. I have always wanted to be able to bend something.
- What piece of entertainment do you wish you could erase from your mind so that you could experience for the first time again?
Playing God of War 4 again. It was an incredible game with an amazing story, unfortunately I got spoiled on the last bit of story so to experience the whole thing with no spoilers would be awesome.
- What weird food combinations do you really enjoy?
Sweet potatoes and peanut butter make a great breakfast
- If you had a personal flag, what would be on it?
Maybe like a cup of coffee under a tree? I love nature and I also love to drink coffee.
- What movie can you watch over and over without ever getting tired of?
Howl’s Moving Castle.
- In the past people were buried with the items they would need in the afterlife, what would you want buried with you so you could use it in the afterlife?
I don’t want to count on having a reliable Wi-Fi connection in the afterlife, so I would probably go with my Nintendo Switch that has a ton of games pre-downloaded.
- Where are some unusual places you’ve been?
I’ve been to the ruins of an old summit house on the cliffs of Mount Tom in Holyoke, MA. The summit house was originally built in 1897, but was rebuilt three times due it burning down before eventually being dismantled in 1939.
- If someone narrated your life, who would you want to be the narrator?
- What TV show character would it be the most fun to change places with for a week?
Assuming that I would inherit some of the same abilities just by switching places, probably Ahsoka Tano from Clone Wars. She is the padawan of Anakin Skywalker and is the best (in my opinion) female Star Wars character. Even if I don’t get all of her powers, it would be neat to explore some of the planets or the Jedi archives while trying not to get killed.
- If you could know the truth behind every conspiracy, but you would instantly die if you hinted that you knew the truth, would you want to know?
Maybe like why the Joe-Joe’s from Trader Joe’s are so good? It would aid me in trying to recreate it at home, but I wouldn’t have to tell anyone why my version is also incredible.
- What’s the most ridiculous animal on the planet?
Tardigrades. They pretty cute and are the first known animal to survive after exposure to space.
- What’s the best thing about the place you grew up?
On Memorial Day, the town would organize a parade and the fire and police departments would give out free hot dogs and ice cream to everyone who came.
- What inconsequential super power would you like to have?
Probably the ability to make a pot or a kettle of water instantly boil, since I am pretty impatient.
- What’s incredibly cheap and you would pay way more for?
Thankfully, clean water is easily accessible and not very expensive in this country and since we need it to survive, I would be forced into paying a lot for it if I needed to.
- What did you believe for way too long as a child?
That every adult knows what they are doing all the time.
- What two things are terrible when separate but great when you put them together?
Instant ramen and the seasoning packet that comes with it.
- What would be the hat to end all hats? What could you wear on your head that would make people stop what they are doing and stare in awe and amazement?
Maybe like a small aquarium that you can wear on your head? I don’t know if the fish would like being up there though.
- If you owned a restaurant, what kind of food would it serve?
I love breakfast foods and coffee, so I would probably run a small café.
Many thanks to Gisele for these thoughtful answers! Stay tuned for more Graduate Student Spotlights in the months to come!