Hey everyone! My name is Joey O'Brien, and I'm a junior in MCB pursuing a certificate in microbiology. I am also on the pre-med track. I transferred to UIUC for my sophomore year from another four-year institution where I spent my freshman year. I currently work as an undergraduate research assistant at the National Soybean Research Laboratory here on campus. I work under a USDA researcher studying plant pathology, specifically the effects of insects called aphids on soybean plants. I love this lab because it is out of my comfort zone and yet I have applied many techniques that I've learned in my MCB curriculum to this research. Besides that, I am a member of Phi Delta Epsilon professional medical fraternity and the UIUC astrobiology club. In my free time, I love to play video games, watch Star Wars, and cook, especially trying to cook new things. I also love spending time in nature. It's actually on my bucket list to visit all the national parks in the US (I've only gone to 4 so far though, so I definitely have some work to do). I can point to so many people who have helped me so much and mentored me along my journey, and I want to be able to do that for other people. If you have any questions about MCB, college, RSOs, research, transferring schools, or anything else, please reach out to me, I would love to help!