Q&A faculty spotlight: Amanda Hummon

August 15, 2022

Q&A faculty spotlight: Amanda Hummon

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Amanda Hummon
Description

Amanda Hummon, a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, explores the intersection of analytical chemistry and chemical biology, with a focus on cancer biology. Leading the Hummon Research Group, her team develops analytical methods to evaluate both the transcriptome and the proteome in cancer cells, while exploring the deregulation in cancer-associated signal transduction pathways. Hummon earned an AB in chemistry from Cornell University and a PhD in chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She went on to complete a postdoctoral fellowship at National Cancer Institute (NCI) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Describe your current research or area of interest

My research group studies colorectal cancer. We use and develop new chemistry methods to explore the molecules that are present in different abundances with the progression of cancer.

What/who influenced you to select your area(s) of study and how has that impacted your career?

My high school chemistry teacher, Mr. Morgan Hezlep, inspired my interest in chemistry. He made the topic come alive. My graduate advisor, Dr. Jonathan Sweedler, taught me the value of research and how it is the mechanism to solve difficult problems in our world.

What undergraduate classes do you teach?

In the fall, I teach General Chemistry for Majors I (CHEM 1610). In the spring, I teach Analytical Chemistry I: Quantitative Analysis (CHEM 2210).

Why would you encourage students to take these classes, and how might they be of interest to students majoring in other disciplines?

CHEM 2210 provides an introduction to analytical chemistry. Analytical chemistry is often misunderstood as a dry discipline, full of QC testing and repetitive tasks. While those are components of the discipline, there is a LOT more to the topic. Analytical chemistry is measurement science, and it is a very practical and useful discipline. We figure out how to measure everything in our world. That may not sound important, but it is absolutely central to many other scientific disciplines. You can’t move forward in science if you don’t know what molecules you have. An excellent example of this is COVID-19 testing. When the pandemic hit, it was analytical chemists who figured out how to measure the presence of the virus and developed the tests we all use today. As I said, it is an incredibly important discipline and can be a lot of fun to learn.

What aspects of your teaching give you the most satisfaction?

Watching the students develop and learn.

Are there opportunities for undergraduates to connect with you for research or creative activity?

Email is the best way to reach me. I’m afraid that my research group is at capacity at the moment, so I won’t be able to take new undergrad researchers this semester.

What book/movie would you recommend, or what music do you enjoy?

I first read Sherlock Holmes as a grad student and have read it several times since. Many of the crimes that are solved in the book are figured out with science — the beginnings of forensics.

What is the most interesting place you have visited?

Istanbul. An absolutely beautiful place. I would love to visit again.

What is the best advice you’ve received?

You don’t have to be perfect. Small progress is still progress. Many of the most difficult problems are solved with small, sequential steps, not huge leaps and bounds.

What advice would you give to undergraduate students?

Try to explore outside your major. Though it may not feel like it, you have more freedom as an undergrad and it is the time to dabble around and figure out what you like.


Read more about Dr. Hummon's research and many achievements

Contact information

414 Biomedical Research Tower
460 W 12th Ave
Columbus, OH 43210
hummon.1@osu.edu

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