Anjalee Wijewardane, B.Sc. Chemistry ‘22
The Chemistry department at King’s is very tight-knit. I have been able to form close relationships with professors who care about their students’ academic, personal, and spiritual lives. I love the community at King’s; being an international student, the community helped me adjust to and embrace Canada. I have made life-long relationships and met friends I can walk towards Christ with.
"I’ve come to realize that I really enjoy working in the lab, learning about research projects, and sharing knowledge with other researchers."
I have had the privilege to work as a summer research student for Dr. Leah Martin-Visscher twice so far. She is an exceptional teacher who goes to great lengths to help students visualize the chemistry happening in the beaker and all around us every day. She is patient, kind, and compassionate, and has supported me tremendously. She inspires me as a Christian, as a woman, and as a chemist, and I am forever grateful for her.
My first research project focused on a molecule called undecaprenol, found in sumac and bay leaves. Undecaprenol is a precursor molecule that is important in the biosynthesis of peptidoglycan in bacterial cell walls. We, the summer research students, really enjoyed our time in the lab; we learnt new skills, developed our problem-solving, and built relationships with each other and our professors. This summer, I am participating in another project and working with a research associate and a grad student at the University of Alberta. I am learning how some types of bacteria kill other types of bacteria by releasing small proteins called bacteriocins, and how to produce bacteriocins and immunoproteins with a method called heterologous overexpression using E.Coli. This has been a great gateway for me to learn concepts in genetics, molecular cell biology, microbiology, the science behind my project, and the latest technologies that make it possible. I’ve come to realize that I really enjoy working in the lab, learning about research projects, and sharing knowledge with other researchers.