Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Features

December 17, 2013

Wilz pursues her dream in science research

Livia “Livy” Wilz is a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley. She is working on her Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology.

The daughter of Mick and Jenny Wilz, Brookville, is a 2005 Franklin County High School graduate. She completed her undergraduate work at Indiana University in 2009, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry.

“I’m a graduate student, but it’s a little different than you would expect compared to other degrees. My tuition is paid for as well as a stipend for my work paid for by research grants from government or private organizations. So it’s kind of like a paid internship. I taught undergraduate students for two semesters and took classes when I started, but now all I do is research. I have been in the program for four and a half years now and expect to graduate with my Ph.D. in about a year and a half.”

Her boss, Randy Schekman, along with two other researchers, Jim Rothman and Thomas Sudhof, recently won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

How I felt when he won: I was very excited and proud of him for finally achieving this award. He had been in the running for almost a decade now. Since the committee that decides the Nobel is based in Sweden, Randy was called at 1:30 a.m. Pacific Time, and the news broke pretty early in the morning back at home. I actually found out when my mom called me at 5:30 a.m. here because she heard it on the radio .... The day of the announcement, he was whisked around campus followed by cameras for most of the day, but the lab (workers) did get about an hour of time with him for a champagne toast. Randy has a very formidable mustache, so we found some fake ones to wear in honor of him. He thought that was very funny. We then had a campus-wide celebration.

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