June 22, 2020

Pharmacology Student Spotlight

Chanté Liu

M.S. Student, Anantharam lab
Hometown: Dexter, Michigan
Undergraduate: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Michigan State University


 Tell us about yourself:

I am from a small town near Ann Arbor so I grew up exploring the city.  For undergrad I went to Michigan State University and studied  biochemistry and molecular biology. During my time at MSU, I worked in a lab that studied mushrooms from the Amanita genus. After graduating I worked in Dr. Lori Isom’s laboratory for 3 years, and it was there I became interested in pharmacology research! If I’m not in lab or studying for classes you can usually find me outdoors running, hiking, or biking.  During the Stay at Home orders, I started experimenting with outdoor gardening and have started a little vegetable garden in my yard!

How would you describe your discipline if you were at a social gathering?

I usually say something like “I study how drugs work in the body”, but then usually have to explain that I’m not a pharmacist or in pharmacy school.

What do you wish your colleagues/friends/family knew about your work?

Before joining Arun’s lab I didn’t realize the complexity and importance of exocytosis.  It’s something I’ve learned about in classes but have never really thought about it…I find it absolutely fascinating and it’s been great learning about it in his lab! 

What do you consider your biggest challenge?

I think my biggest challenge is that I can be a very anxious person.  Often times, I think of the “worst case” scenario.  Sometimes, I just have to remember to breathe and remember that everything usually works out in the end! I think mental health is extremely important, and especially once I started graduate school I made sure to make my mental health my number one priority.  

Have you learned anything during your research that's surprised you?  If so, what?

Unfortunately because of the Stay and Home orders I couldn’t really be in lab for as much as I would’ve liked.

What drives you?

My friends and family.  I have been able to meet some incredibly talented people here during my time here at U of M and I don’t know where I’d be without those people! 

What are you most proud of?

I'm proud in what I've accomplished this year, especially this last semester!  It was really difficult to adjust to online classes and having to be away from the bench and my friends.  However, I think I made the best of it.  I think all of us in the department did, and we all deserve a pat on the back!

What do you plan to do with your degree!

Pursue a Ph.D.

What is a fun or interesting fact about you?

I am really into collecting house plants.  I have over 100!