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Story spotlight Science is already doing incredible things. I just wish more people knew about them.

In the lab with Nicole Jones

Biology major, Point Loma Nazarene University

Working with Dr. Kristopher Koudelka, Nicole has taken part in research involving the chemical modification of the bacteriophage lambda procapsid, a viral nanoparticle. The goal is targeted drug delivery that improves efficacy and reduces side effects.

1 Engineering tiny marvels for a big impact

To deliver therapeutic agents where they’re needed, the procapsid needs to be welcomed by specific tissues of the body. In the lab, Nicole and her coworkers attach proteins and lipids to the surface of the nanoparticle. These additions match up with receptors on the targeted cell.

2 Humming along

Nicole says she’s privileged to operate lab equipment as an undergraduate. She knows that a container failure could damage a centrifuge rotor and interrupt the lab’s workflow.

“When you hear one squeaky noise, it’s nerve-racking for everyone. As long as I check that the sealing ring is in the right place and that I screwed on the cap correctly, I know I’ve done my part, and I have confidence that the Thermo Scientific™ Nalgene™ centrifuge bottles will do their part.”

Because Nicole’s research team doesn’t have to worry about the durability of Nalgene labware, they can focus on their next breakthrough.

3 Sharing her love of science

“I have a really deep desire to understand the world around me. I would learn something in the classroom, and then I’d be outdoors, and I could see where I could apply my knowledge. That made me excited to learn more.”

Nicole is an unofficial ambassador for science. “The realm of science can be intimidating. As a lab teaching assistant, I’m able to help break down those barriers and give students the hands-on experience they need.”

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