SciTech Alumni - Chanda Yonzon

Yonzon, Chanda
Class Year: 
Bachelor of Science
Kathmandu, Nepal

I came to Fairmont in 1997 after completing an Intermediate in Science (pre-bachelor’s degree) from Kathmandu University in Nepal. While at Fairmont State, along with taking core classes, I worked with Dr. Erica Harvey to analyze benzo[a]pyrene and its metabolites using high performance liquid chromatography. In between my sophomore and junior year, I interned in Professor James Ibers’ lab at Northwestern University, sponsored by National Science Foundation. My extracurricular activities at Fairmont State included holding the position of treasurer for the American Chemical Society (student affiliates club) for two years, performing chemistry demonstrations at local high schools and volunteering to recruit women in science as a part of the Association of Women in Science under the “Expanding Your Horizons” program at Williamson, W.Va. In May 2001, I graduated from Fairmont State with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry with a minor in Mathematics. I commenced to the graduate program at the Chemistry Department of Northwestern University, Ill., in the fall of 2001. I worked under Professor Richard P. Van Duyne with physical/analytical chemistry emphasis. I developed sensors using silver nanostructures, one of which is a glucose sensor for diabetics using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy. I obtained my Ph.D. in June 2006 and joined Schering-Plough Corporation, N.J. Currently, I am involved with the research and development of drugs that will be used to control respiratory diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

What advice would you give current or prospective students?: 

I advise students to take advantage of Fairmont’s small class sizes and opportunities to meet professors on a one-to-one basis. When it's time to choose which graduate school you want to attend or what field you want to get into, it is always helpful to involve the faculty members for direction.

What was the most important thing you learned while attending Fairmont State?: 

While at Fairmont State, I learned to analyze and solve problems, not only in the field of Chemistry, but also in life. But more importantly, I learned to be curious, ask questions and look for answers.