Madeline Bloom has been named one of our Fall 2020 Undergraduates of the Quarter. We’re so proud of her.
Madeline was born in the Bay Area of California, but moved to Medford when she was five. She graduated from South Medford High, home of the Panthers. According to Madeline, she’s been interested in forensic science ever since middle school. She chose Oregon State because she saw that our undergraduate program had a forensic sciences option and thought, “Wow, this is perfect.” She was enamored with the area; the shear amount of research being performed in the department and the opportunities she could potentially get involved with. Her decision was made.
After her sophomore year she had an internship at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Forensic Lab in Ashland, OR. That’s where she was first introduced to mass spectrometry as an analytical technique. After that internship, she started researching labs she wanted to be a part of for her Honors Thesis during her junior year. She came across Dr. Claudia Maier’s Lab in the Mass Spectrometry Center. After talking with her and meeting her lab group and learning about her research she became super interested in working with her. After talking about what projects Madeline was interested in she decided to look at the Oxylipins. Madeline stated that, “even though it isn’t technically related to forensic science, all the skills I am learning are directly applicable.”
She is currently continuing her research in Dr. Maier’s lab. Madeline works alongside Post-doc researcher Dr. Manuel Garcia- Jamarillo, optimizing a method to analyze a group of chemical biomarkers called Oxylipins which are derived from polyunsaturated fatty acids. They’re specifically looking at the biomarkers in human plasma that are derived via biological enzymatic reactions. They’re able to use them to look at different diseases associated with inflammation such as cardiovascular disease or if they’re looking at brain tissues they can look at human diseases associated with the brain. They are currently optimizing a method to quantify these in a triple quad mass spectrometer and then comparing the new method with a standard LC-MS instrument. Madeline is also using this research as a part of her Undergraduate Honors thesis. She says it’s been a really fun experience, and she’s learned a lot about analytical chemistry and instrumentation and just the scientific method in general.
Madeline graduated in June, and will be attending George Washington University to pursue a Master of Forensic Science in the field of study of Forensic Chemistry in August. After two years in the Master’s program, she hopes to gain employment at a crime lab.
Outside school, Madeline worked as a Peer Advisor for the College of Science and the Science Success Center. She did this for three years and said she loved it. She was also a member of the OSU Chamber Choir. She said music has always been very important to her and she knew wanted to do something in addition to science. As a member of the Chamber Choir, she was able to meet new and interesting people outside the sciences. She also got to travel. In 2018, Madeline went to Washington DC to perform for Holocaust Remembrance Day at the National Cathedral, and last year, they went to Spokane. Madeline says, during the pandemic, the choir has been meeting remotely, and on occasion in a limited in-person capacity at the SEC Plaza because it’s outside. She also reported that they have special singing masks that are less restrictive, but still fully enclosed.
Her favorite food is chocolate. She completed a brief study abroad in France during her freshman year and said her favorite part was visiting the chocolate museum. She loved everything about it. Her favorite book is East of Eden by John Steinbeck. She used this book as her senior paper in High school. She said her Mom introduced her to the book, and she loves everything it stands for.
We’re incredibly proud of students like Madeline, and wish her all the best in her future endeavors.