Brandi Arterberry '08
Class of 2008
Brandi Arterberry is a junior at Northeastern University and is majoring in biology. She is passionate about cancer research. Her father died of cancer in February of 1991 before his fortieth birthday. Along with her dad, Brandi has lost eight other family members to cancer, and all were related to her father. In Brandi’s own words, "We all know that cancer may be inherited and I would like to find a cure before it takes another family member or me. I am dedicated to the fight against cancer and I want to aid in finding a way to stop it."
Brandi graduated from high school in 1997 and attended Howard University but had to withdraw during her second year. After five years of working, she had a pretty nice salary, but her heart was not in her work. She needed to pursue her dream. She took it slow, and attended a community college for two years to see if this was what she really wanted. After two years, Brandi was ready to become a full-time student again.
It was important for Brandi to attend Northeastern University. She wanted to participate in a program that combined excellent academics in the classroom with a structured experiential opportunity in a real work environment through the Cooperative Education Program. She recently finished her first Co-op at EMD Lexigen Pharmaceuticals, one of the leading research and development companies for cancer research in the greater Boston area. At EMD, Brandi was part of the molecular biology department and aided in the research of new cancer drugs. Brandi reports: "It was a dynamic learning experience, which I could not get from a text book. It allowed me to recall and apply knowledge that I acquired in the classroom and build on it. I learned how to function in a lab setting and was challenged every day on what I could bring personally to the company." Brandi feels she had the opportunity to take part in history by working at EMD Lexigen as a Co-op. She has been invited to return because of the quality of her performance.
The Co-op Program at Northeastern has allowed Brandi to try out her dream of being a cancer researcher before committing her life to it. She says, "The Co-op programs allows young people to experience life for what it is, a series of life changing events. Today you may want to be a pharmacist and tomorrow a doctor."