Mary Liu was born and raised in Baton Rouge and attended Baton Rouge Magnet High School. During her time as a chemistry major at LSU, Mary liked how intimate the Chemistry Department felt saying, “I actually got a chance to know my professors, and develop a relationship with many of the professors.” It was through research in Dr Gilman’s Lab that Mary learned to truly appreciate the potential applications of chemistry even though sometimes it may seem hard to draw parallels between what is learned in the coursework to real-life applications.
After completing her degree in 2012 Mary attended pharmacy school where she is currently in her third year, finishing the coursework portion of her curriculum and about to start the clinical portion. Mary feels as though the career that she chose integrates her background in chemistry with a field that resonates with her. She always wanted to seek a career in the medical field and, with her background in chemistry, is able to do so. She says chemistry is still very much a part of her life. For each drug class and medication she is taught, she also learns the medicinal chemistry of a drug, such as structure activity relationships (SAR) that affect pharmacokinetics, drug design, and mechanism of action.
Her advice to current chemistry majors is “Don’t give up! The coursework is difficult and it is easy to get discouraged. Meet with your professors. They have your best interests in mind. Also, get involved with research early. You can go to the chemistry faculty page and read about the different projects. If one seems interesting to you, then don’t hesitate to contact that professor to see if you can start doing working with him/her. Research is definitely one of the things that I miss the most about my time as an undergraduate at LSU.”
Update: Mary completed her Pharmaceutical Degree at the University of Louisiana at Monroe and is currently working as a pharmacist at Promise Healthcare, Inc. in Greater Los Angeles.
Profile contributed by Abigael Theriot and Carol Taylor (2015)