Finding a Cure for a Healthier World
Linesha Davis has a passion for medicine and helping people. As a child, she wanted to cure the world. Now, as a biology major and a dean’s honor student, she is on her way to making the world a healthier place.
Davis is already working as a pharmacy technician and continues to contribute to research with Assistant Professor of Life Sciences Bryan Gibb, Ph.D. (Davis was part of the team of student researchers working with Gibb on finding new ways to fight bacterial infections with bacteriophages—viruses that naturally infect bacteria.) She is also a recipient of NYIT’s Achievement award, Achievement Enrichment award, and an NYIT grant, and is a member of DiGamma Omega Xi Inc., the National Society of Leadership and Success, the Black Student Union, and Game Club.
Davis sat down with The Box to talk about her research project, her life-long dream of helping others heal, and the advice she has for incoming students.
What inspired you to study biology?
I always had a desire to help others and relieve them of their ailments. I wanted to be someone who helps people live better lives and be healthy and reduce the number of sick people in the world. As I kid, I thought I could cure or help the world, and medicine seemed like the way to do that. That desire stuck with me, so I majored in biology.
Why did you choose NYIT?
I applied and got accepted to many schools, but there was something about NYIT that appealed to me. I went to Glen Cove High School and they had a Science Technology Entry Program (STEP) that was basically run by NYIT faculty. We visited NYIT often, and I really liked the campus. The small class ratio and generosity with scholarships and grants were also appealing.
What are you working on now?
The research I’m currently conducting with Assistant Professor Bryan Gibb is really interesting. We are looking for bacteriophages from household kitchen sponges. The fact that I found bacteriophages in a sponge from my own house is really cool. This research opened up a new world for me. It was something I didn’t know I would come to truly enjoy.
I really appreciate the opportunity to assist with this research project. Along with my classes and pursuing my EMT certification and [working as a pharmacy technician], this research has helped me on my path to becoming a physician-researcher.
What excites you about your field of study?
The potential to discover something new. Medical research has grown vastly over the years. It’s incredible! Researchers are continuously discovering new and improved ways to help people. Think about how far we’ve come in the fight against AIDS or heart disease or diagnosing cancer. The advancements that are made are awesome. There is always the potential to do something better.
What advice do you want to give first-year students?
I suggest you immerse yourself in what the campus has to offer. Despite being someone who is very outgoing, I didn’t talk much my first year. Getting involved with student life was something that allowed me to step outside of my shell and meet different types of people. NYIT is a small community, but it has a lot to offer. There are so many different clubs and organizations, you just have to find what works for you. Since we are a commuter school, most people go to class and leave, but many still go to events and enjoy all of the resources available to students. And if you are going into life sciences, try doing research. It isn’t as boring as it might seem!
This interview has been edited and condensed.