As a senior chemistry major from Norcross, GA, Johnny Truong remembers how he never seriously considered a career in science until his early years in high school. However, after taking a high school chemistry course, he changed his mind on the matter. “Something about chemistry resonated with me so I gave it a chance.”
As an Honors College student and Thomas. L. Netzel Scholar at Georgia State University, he has participated in several research experiences both on- and off-campus. He first worked in the laboratory of Dr. George Y. Zheng at Georgia State University whose main focus is the study of epigenetics, particularly mechanisms of epigenetic enzymes.
In the summer of 2012, he participated in a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at the University of Kentucky where he spent 10 weeks in the laboratory of Dr. David S. Watt, developing therapeutic derivatives for age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
This past summer, he was awarded a Society of Chemical Industry Scholarship to work at Great Lakes Solution – Chemtura in West Lafayette, IN developing new flame retardant materials for use in a wide variety of applications including electronics, furniture, and clothing.
Currently, he is working in the laboratory of Dr. Jun Yin, studying the mechanism of ubiquination, a major process which regulates protein degradation and other biochemical pathways.
In addition to research, Johnny has served as a as a teaching assistant, tutor, and Supplemental Instruction (SI) leader for chemistry courses at GSU. His work as a SI leader has been the most impactful, “In most classrooms, you have a professor teaching students the course material. In a SI classroom, you have SI leaders teach students how to teach themselves; this is accomplished through study skills, problem-solving techniques, and most of all, encouragement.”
Johnny is now in the process of applying to graduate programs and intends to obtain a Ph.D. in Chemistry. In his spare time, he actively participates in the Undergraduate STEM Research Society, an organization he co-founded with other undergraduates to inform students about research opportunities and careers in science. “One piece of advice I would give future students: try to pursue a field that genuinely excites you and just see how far you can take it. No matter where your career may be headed, you can at least say you had a lot of fun exploring it!”