Brigid Toomey

Brigid Toomey


Biological Sciences


French, Biochemistry

Charlotte, NC

Why you chose your major

Coming in as a freshman, I was confident in my major in Biological Sciences and a minor in French, but I didn't declare a Biochemistry minor until this year. I have aspirations to go into research in pharmaceuticals after school, so Biology as my major gives me the chance to take the courses related to medicine, while still being broad enough so I can enter other fields if I decide to do so.

I chose my french minor because I took french classes all throughout middle and high school, and didn't want to loose that skillset during college. I recently added Biochemistry as a minor because I've learned in my time at UNL so far that I both enjoy my chemistry classes, and believe the content will aid me in my future career.

Favorite and/or most impactful course

During my first-semester freshman year, I took a specialty research class designed for first-year students called BIOS 136, or Virus Hunting, with Dr. Catherine Chia. This class showed me how much I love research and all the processes involved in it. We spent the semester isolating an unknown bacteriophage from a soil sample and characterizing it for a national database and I even got to name the virus I discovered.

Research or internship experience

Since Spring of 2022, I've worked in a research lab here on campus in the Beadle Center under professor and research Dr. Audrey Atkin. I primarily work closely with a graduate student in the INBRE Scholars Program as I aid him in experiments surrounding our species of interest: Candida albicans.

Although most of what we do is for a better understanding of the organism, it's related to clinical work as the greater community of Candida researchers is working to find a therapy for lethal fungal infections caused by the fungi. It's been a really great learning experience and I'm getting to a point where I can be more independent in the lab and have the chance to design, execute, and present findings on my own research.

Other involvement

In addition to being a CAS Ambassador, I serve as an Honors Peer Mentor for the Honors College, conduct undergraduate research, am a member in the Big Red Ski and Snowboard Club, as well as the French Club, and work as a barista in an on-campus coffeehouse.

Why you chose Nebraska

As an out of state student, Nebraska wasn't even on my radar until my senior year when I heard about a scholarship opportunity and decided to apply. When decisions came back, UNL offered the most financial aid of any other school and appealed to me with a variety of opportunities. I was very interested in research programs, student organizations, connections to UNMC and Big 10 athletics.
Student Ambassadors group

Student Ambassadors are undergraduate students who talk to prospective students, parents, alumni, and the general public about the college.