Hi! My name is Tej Akavaram. I am currently a sophomore in chemical engineering at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. I’m from West Des Moines, IA where I’ve lived basically my entire life. I decided to pursue chemical engineering because math and science, especially chemistry, were my favorite subjects in high school. On campus, I have the privilege of working with faculty currently involved with biomedical research. I am also involved with an on-campus organization called BioBus, tasked with the responsibility of recycling used cooking oil into biofuel for our campus bus system. Following my undergraduate degree, I hope to pursue a doctorate and conduct research in the field of pharmaceuticals. I believe that having an understanding of toxicology will better prepare me for a career in the pharmaceutical industry since I will be working with various types of compounds whose effects on organisms and the environment are important to be aware of.