Beth Ryan never imagined she’d want to design drugs for a living. But thanks to an unexpected love of biochemistry and all the complex—and sometimes weird—molecules that make up life, that’s where her research and career goals are headed.
“It's kind of the strangest feeling to have found what you're supposed to be doing,” Beth said. “Especially if what you're supposed to be doing is biochemistry, organic synthesis, something that I never thought about until I came to college.”
Beth discovered this passion when she took organic chem her first year at Ithaca College. In the years since, she’s conducted experiments that explore how to prevent bacteria from talking with each other. Because if they can’t communicate, they can’t coordinate and attack the body.
Her work at IC may be expanded upon by other researchers down the road. “We’re just doing the dirty work, the nitty gritty of seeing if it’s even possible to make a covalent drug that targets this particular enzyme. Maybe years in the future, we can get a compound out of it.”
Beth’s research and commitment to the natural sciences even landed her the prestigious Barry Goldwater Scholarship. And to think she didn’t apply the first time her faculty advisor suggested she do so. Some gentle insistence from that same advisor the following year spurred Beth to throw her name in the mix.