Elena Pires is currently a student enrolled at CUNY Hunter College, where she is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Studio Art. She joined the Holford lab in January 2012, and her projects have included the development of a high-throughput method for characterization of snail venom peptides as well as the conjugation of viral capsids leading towards creation of an alternative drug delivery method. Elena is also a member of the MBRS-RISE program at Hunter College, an undergraduate research scholarship program that provides financial and professional support to minority students seeking PhD’s in biomedical science. Due to her research endeavors in the lab, she was recently awarded the Fannie Margolies Undergraduate Award from the department of Chemistry at Hunter for the advancement of women in science. Her future plans include obtaining a PhD in chemistry, possibly a dual Vet-PhD degree, and contributing to the field of science.