My name is Donieka Burris and I am from Mason City, Illinois. I received my Bachelors of Science degree from Illinois State University with a major in chemistry and biochemistry/molecular biology and a minor in biology. During my three years of undergraduate research, I worked in an inorganic chemistry lab on small molecule X-ray crystallography as well as teaching methods using the CCDC (Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre). I found that I enjoyed studying structure, but that I wanted to focus on biochemical pathways and molecules in graduate school.
I chose the Purdue University’s Department of Biochemistry Ph.D. program because I liked that it offered me the opportunity to find the specific biochemical field that I'm interested in by doing rotations in different departmental labs. The small department has many benefits and opportunities for collaboration and I have found the graduate student atmosphere very comfortable.