Student Spotlight: Emma Ivantsova

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Fall 2020

Emma Ivantsova is a Sophomore at the University of Florida in the University Scholars Program. On campus, she is currently the Secretary for the Student Admission Officers (SAO), which is an organization that works directly with the Office of Admissions, and a Peer Leader for a CLAS mentorship program this school year. Her research project is entitled: Investigating the Developmental Toxicity of the Antineoplastic Cyclophosphamide on Embryo/Larval Zebrafish (Danio rerio). Below are a summary of Emma’s project, experience with research, and plan for the future.

Summary of Research Project: This research project aims to determine if cyclophosphamide (an antineoplastic) has an effect on zebrafish by exposing the species to the drug during early development. This is significant as the project will address a significant knowledge gap regarding the aquatic toxicity of antineoplastics in the environment.

Why did you get started in undergraduate research? I decided that I would conduct research throughout college to strengthen my application for medical school and develop a network with other undergraduate students, as well as graduate students.

How has your research experience shaped your undergraduate career? Though it is only my second year as an undergraduate researcher at UF, my research experience has shaped my undergraduate career primarily by strengthening my time management skills and furthering my interest in science. I am on multiple manuscripts that will be published in the near future and hope to increase my research involvement.

What advice would you give someone interested in undergraduate research? The advice I would give someone interested in undergraduate research is to get involved early in your college career. I have noticed many students wait until their second or third year to start looking for research opportunities, but it can be very difficult to find a position. Getting involved early can also increase your chances of getting published more!

What are your plans for the future? My plans for the future include graduating with a bachelors degree in Biology and attending medical school; however, I have not decided what speciality I’d like to pursue yet.