Moses Leavens

Graduate student at the University of Montana

Field: Biochemistry and biophysics

"My culture and background influenced my decision to pursue science."

Moses Leavens

When I was in grade school, my friends and I would ride our bikes up this hill during the summer and collect tadpoles from this pond. We would bring them back home, take care of them, and observe their metamorphosis into frogs. That experience got me interested in nature and how things work.

In college, I enjoyed studying math and biochemistry, so it made sense for me to combine my interests and pursue research in biochemistry, studying molecules of the cell and using mathematics to model the data. Now, I study how proteins, which are a part of all living things, fold into their shape. Most of my days are spent doing experiments in a lab. The best part of my job is understanding a part of the universe and how it operates, then using that information to improve human health. The hardest part is accepting failure and learning from my mistakes. This field requires a lot of patience and diligence, but I take breaks and spend time with my daughter, and I love to run.

Science is important for two reasons: 1) it allows us to understand what is going on in the universe, and 2) scientific information can be used for practical applications like medicine, energy development, environmental health, and education.