“One thing I value here at LMU is the ability that students have to find what they are really passionate about,” said Sarah Mitchell, assistant professor in the Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “And so I try to show how biochemistry relates to different fields and career options.”
Mitchell traveled across the nation in her educational pursuit, earning her undergraduate degree in biochemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. She earned a Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland in biophysics, a quantitative version or mathematical analysis of biochemistry according to Mitchell. She then continued in post-doctoral research between the University of Arizona and the University of Colorado in Boulder.
“I found that part of the work I did as a graduate student and as a post-doctoral researcher, was training younger and newer students and researchers. I really enjoyed that process and that relationship so I wanted to make it a more serious part of my career,” said Mitchell.
Before teaching at LMU, Mitchell was a laboratory technician at the University of Rochester, in New York and taught for a semester at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
In addition to instructing, Mitchell will continue her biochemical research identifying proteins that bind to a messenger RNA that were previously unknown.
“Understanding biochemistry really gives you perspective on life at its most basic level, and that can give you an understanding of how similar all life is,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell chose to teach at LMU for two main reasons: first was the engagement of the students.
“The students felt both empowered and curious enough to ask a lot of questions. I just thought it would be wonderful to participate in teaching students who were so curious and so active in the classroom,” said Mitchell.
Second was the uniqueness of the faculty.
“The Chemistry and Biochemistry Department is really a wonderful collaborative place with a lot of positive energy. I was excited to work with people like that who were so focused on improving what they did and making it the best place for their students,” said Mitchell.
This is Mitchell’s first time in Los Angeles, and she is in love with the weather and walking on the beach with her husband.