Biochemistry major wants people to live healthier and longer lives

Melinn JJ BMy name is Meilinn Tram and I am currently majoring in biochemistry. As long as I can remember, I have been very passionate about math and sciences. I have always seen knowledge as a thrilling thing to have. If you understand what you learn, you start to question it. Questioning leads to testing and experimenting. And thinking outside the box helps you become an innovator—you obtain unique ideas and insights, and you discover things that are mind blowing. Knowledge does wondrous things for everyone. It helps people better their lives in many amazing ways. Without knowledge, we wouldn’t have the technology we have today, especially in the health field.

Two years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Vietnam and China to meet my distant relatives. It was quite a culture shock for me because for the first time, I was exposed to extremely ill individuals. I discovered the cause: improperly disposed medical waste needles, which are extremely hazardous to leave lying around.

This observation spurred me into researching sickness and medical waste disposal in other countries. I narrowed it down to researching vaccines, and eventually my degree in biochemistry. I found that third world countries don’t have a government regulated system of disposal. Therefore there is a constant reuse of needles from medical waste. To reduce waste and prevent diseases, I wanted to expand the longevity of available vaccines by storing them in a more stable, dry form such as a pill or capsule.

I actually have a cousin who was paralyzed from the hip down due to a contaminated syringe injection. It could have been prevented had the doctor used a new sterile needle. Things could have even ended worse. For example, millions of people have contracted HIV or hepatitis A, B, or C because the disease was still on the used needle. Now my future career goal is to find ways to produce and deliver medications that reduce both cost and risk for patients. I want people to benefit from my research by living healthier and longer lives.

I have recently been accepted into the McNair program which allows me to fulfill some of my dreams of doing research. I am currently researching dry spraying vaccines into more stable forms to ship out to third world countries. My biggest obstacle is balancing my work, school, and personal life . I take 16-18 credit hours each semester, work part time at Manzano Mesa Community Center as a youth leader, privately tutor mathematics to a high school student, and tutor for the Center for Academic Program Support (CAPS). I also volunteer around the community partaking in events hosted around the state and volunteer at Veterans Affairs. I put all my effort into everything I set my mind to and never give up in what I believe. I set my life goals very high but keep them attainable.

We are proud to announce Meilinn Tram is one of the current JustJobs Scholarship finalists. Vote for her essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options in left column), click the ‘star’ just above comments section below, and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.

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  • yammyyams

    Great cause! Hope you get the scholarship. Please keep us posted. #GGN #Gaginang

  • Meena

    Oh my gosh, love you so much and hope you get this! Good luck!!! You are so amazing, Meilinn!

  • Renee

    Meilinn, it sounds like you have an inspiring story, and truly want to promote change and awareness in an area, that needs it. I hope you get the scholarship! We need more people like you.

  • Alex Wine

    Of all the stories I have read, Meilinn is the most deserving of this scholarship. Her dreams and goals are very selfless and I hope she succeeds in all of them. She will improve their healthcare and give them healthier lives- which I believe should be a human right.

  • John

    I say pick her

  • Holly

    Good luck Meilinn! You are very well-rounded and a dedicated learner. It was enlightening to learn more about you. After seeing your background experience in biochemistry, math, and science I can tell you are more than deserving to receive this scholarship and work on your research.

  • W. Jessee Gray

    Meilinn is an amazing student and person. She is such a caring person and her research is devoted to something that would make the world a better place. She is very compassionate about people and kids and if anyone were deserving of this scholarship, it is definitely her for her hard work dedication to her education.

  • KC Kemper

    Go Meilinn!!

  • Melanie

    Meilinn, you are so determined and have such an inspiring goal. I know you will accomplish great things. Good luck with your research.

  • Ti

    Best of luck!!!

  • Son Ha

    This is truly inspiring, I’ve known you for a while Mei and you were always kind hearted from the first day I meant you. I am in the EMS field and I completely agree that needles are some of the worst things, you never know what could happen if you get stuck with a needle and you don’t know whether or not it has HIV or hepatitis on them. I never looked at it as using biochemistry to make a safer environment and I think it is a great and innovative. Good luck Mei! You deserve this scholarship for sure!

  • Andrew Trujeque

    I feel like I am really late to this! But I support you and your ambitions!

  • Jasmine Peralta

    Best of luck! You will do great things! 🙂

  • vincent

    Growing up and living in Vietnam, i understand how bad the medical conditions are. I totally agree with your idea. i hope that once day, your dream; your research; will change the world. Best of luck.

  • Michelle

    Good luck!!! Hope you get this scholarship!

  • Sara Kirkpatrick

    I have known Meilinn since high school and she has always been one of the most friendly people I have had a chance to meet. Her drive and work ethic were obvious from the start and it is no surprise to me that she has accomplished so much. I know without a doubt that she will continue to have a positive impact on the lives of everyone she comes in contact with and that she is very deserving of this scholarship.

  • Thai

    Meilinn, I’m very proud to see you working towards such an amazing goal in life. You’ve got both the heart and the brain for this!