Celeste Alexander

2015 A Scientific Mind


Celeste Alexander knows firsthand that science requires perseverance.

A microbiology major and a senior lab assistant, Celeste has been working on independent research for more than three years. Her most defining moment? She calls it the breakthrough, the “aha” moment, in her research that made all the work worth the effort:

“As anyone who has conducted scientific research knows, it can be discouraging,” she says. “Before I had my first breakthrough, my research encountered obstacle after obstacle. However, after much perseverance, I finally made a breakthrough. That one breakthrough was worth all of the time and effort I had put into my project.”

The breakthrough in research was the push Celeste needed. With the help of Krisanu Bandyopadhyay, associate professor of chemistry, she will be submitting a manuscript of her work for publishing in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics.

“I see Celeste as a candidate who has strong perseverance, dedication, willingness and strong commitment toward her work,“ said Dr. Bandyopadhyay. “She has shown strong promises to become a successful researcher through her trouble-shooting ability and out-of-the-box thinking.“

She has spent more than nine semesters working as a supplemental instruction (SI) leader and has shared her passion for science with other students, helping her peers find breakthrough moments as well.

“It is a wonderful and rewarding experience to help these students to not only understand the course material, but also spark a genuine interest in science,” she said.

Celeste plans to continue her research as a lifelong learner, pursuing a Ph.D. and a career in academics to continue to teach and research. “I wish to discover new approaches to using nutrition as medicine, to share my knowledge and passion for science with others.”