ESP Biography



OLYA SPASSIBOJKO, Cornell junior studying molecular biology




Major: Biological Sciences

College/Employer: Cornell

Year of Graduation: 2016

Picture of Olya Spassibojko

Brief Biographical Sketch:

I am a junior at Cornell majoring in Biological Sciences, and am very involved in research. For the past three years, I have worked in a research lab on campus studying the regulation of membrane trafficking by conducting experiments with yeast genetics. I am also a member of the Cornell iGEM project team (you should also take the synthetic biology course in the catalog that my teammates are teaching!), in which we put together genetic parts in novel ways in order to create awesome new tools to solve problems in society. This summer, I will be working at an allergen detection/research/manufacturing company in Virginia to get a feel for the industrial side of molecular biology. My ultimate goal is to pursue a PhD and 'play with DNA' for the rest of my life :)

You may ask why, then, am I teaching a nutrition course for splash, if my main interest is research? I simply feel that nutrition is an aspect of everyone's life, whether you like it or not, that you undoubtedly have quite a bit of control over (within economic means), and being knowledgeable about the choices you make in food is invaluable for living a healthy life. This is why I am also studying to earn a minor in Nutrition and Health, and combine my passion for understanding both the interconnectedness of biological systems and metabolic processing of food at the molecular level.

Outside of my lab work, I teach Tree Climbing for Cornell Outdoor Education, and have especially enjoyed the opportunity to climb the giant sequoias in California. Additionally, I am a member of the Wait Avenue cooperative house and like crocheting/baking/having philosophical conversations with my housemates.



Past Classes

  (Look at the class archive for more.)


Exploring Nutritional Mysteries in Splash Spring 2015
Take a tour of your very own metabolism! Starting with a brief overview of the processes through which nutrients are absorbed from food, we will go on to discuss a few of the most important pathways involving molecules including fructose, fiber, and fats. Finally, we'll talk about some perplexing puzzles that are currently being studied in the field of nutrition. If you've ever wondered about what happens to the food you eat beyond disappearing into the black hole that is your stomach, why your parents keep reminding you to eat your vegetables, or how sugar (while in itself not a fat) still manages to cause obesity, then come find out!