"I want to understand how life works at a molecular level."
University of Houston physics Professor Margaret Cheung credits her mother for her life-long love of science. Her current research examines the travels of a small protein and how its "decisions" inside a cell may impact the development of cancer.
"We use computer simulations, physics modeling and collaborate with experimentalists in the Texas Medical Center to probe, detect and predict the behavior of this small protein," she said.
Her research is funded by the National Institutes for Health and the National Science Foundation. While her love of science feeds her research, her concern for the future of science fuels her efforts with middle and high school girls.
"They come to campus to see the university, interact with women faculty, graduate students and college students, and see there is a longitudinal development of career growth for women," Cheung said. "They can picture themselves to be in those positions when they grow up."
Additionally, she's created a two week summer program for those teaching high school physics. Cheung says Houston is an ideal place for scientists and researchers.
"Houston is unique in the sense it has a blossoming industry in both energy and health. Both are pending issues for general public facing tomorrow's challenges. So I felt this is a great place for me to be."
Margaret Cheung is part of what's happening at the University of Houston. I'm Marisa Ramirez.