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Kara Zielinski

Affiliations and Roles

Graduate Mentor, PhD Student, Biophysics

Graduate Mentor

Research Interests: I use high power X-rays to study the structure and dynamics of proteins mostly via protein crystallography. I mainly develop tools to enable new methods for time-resolved techniques to capture protein functions while they are in action. 

About Me: I am originally from Long Island, NY where I enjoyed eating great pizza and bagels on the beach. I studied Biophysics at the George Washington University in Washington, DC. I was extremely active on campus and was President of the Society for Physics Students and was Head Delegate of our Model UN Team. After undergrad, I received a Fulbright Fellowship, which allowed me to spend 10 months conducting research at the Center for Free Electron Lasers in Hamburg, Germany. I got to work with top scientists in my field while also learning German and exploring Europe. Now, I am in my third year of grad school at Cornell and I am very involved with both advocacy and outreach. I am part of the Molecular Biology and Genetics Diversity Council and I am the Biophysics Student Representative for the Molecular Biology and Genetics Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. In both of these organizations, I strive to improve department policies and create new initiatives to make the department a more welcoming place for all its members. I am also a Co-Leader for the Life Sciences Diversity Recruitment Weekend, which is a grad student run event to share best practices to minority students applying to graduate school. Additionally, I serve as the Fundraising Chair for Expanding Your Horizons, a grad student run event to introduce middle school girls to STEM.  In my free time, I love to do Zumba, read, and day dream about traveling again.