While other college students around the country were enjoying a summer off, Eva Chebishev was hard at work—in the smallest realm possible.

During her sophomore year at Ithaca College, Eva was the selected by the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) to participate in the prestigious 2017 ASM Undergraduate Research Fellowship program. As part of the program, which was designed to assist students interested in a microbial science career, Eva spent a portion of her summer on an important research project.

The project involved investigating host specificity in chlamydia trachomatis—the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States and a leading cause of preventable blindness. Eva’s work studied the “virulence factors” of the disease, examining the chlamydia proteins that infect host cells in the body, with the goal of eventually developing new types of treatment.

“It was an incredible learning opportunity. I got to learn new skills and new techniques"

Eva credits her faculty mentor, Department of Biology assistant professor David Gondek, for inspiring her interest in microbial science.

“He was so enthusiastic about topics like cell and tissue culture work that it inspired me to join his lab in the spring of my freshman year. He helped me learn in so many different ways. He took a chance on me, and I owe him a lot for that.”