As Maggie Mulligan returns to class this fall, the junior at Purdue University’s College of Agriculture will bring with her new expertise in the field of genetic research. She served an internship as an undergraduate research assistant at Purdue’s animal science department.
The undergrad from Newton County hopes to become a veterinarian, serving the animal agriculture sector.
Mulligan grew up on an Indiana farm where her father grew corn and soybeans. Her uncle raises livestock, which piqued her interest in life sciences.
“The time at my uncle’s farm really shaped my career goals,” said Mulligan, in the most recent episode of the Ag+Bio+Science podcast presented by AgriNovus Indiana and Inside INdiana Business.
Mulligan worked in a lab, studying porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), a viral disease that is particularly deadly to young pigs.
She’s been extracting RNA from fetal pigs to see which organs are most affected by the virus.
“As I’ve been doing it in the lab, actually hands-on, and how the whole process is done, I’ve actually come to understand what I learned back in my class a whole lot better than what I conceptualized back in the fall,” said Mulligan.
The undergrad admits she struggled in class with genetic science technologies and procedures, but the hands-on internship helped make the science clearer.
As Mulligan pursues her dream to become a veterinarian, she encourages other young Hoosiers to pursue a career in agbiosciences.
“There are a plethora of opportunities and there are so many great colleges in Indiana that are preparing students in ag and science to jump into this career and promote better food, health and safety,” Mulligan told podcast host Gerry Dick.
The full podcast will be available Monday morning. Click here for more information on how you can listen.