Hello everyone! My name is Makayla Freitas and I am a senior at the University of Arizona, studying Biochemistry, Molecular & Cellular Biology, and Psychology. I work in Dr. Rebecca Page’s lab, where we investigate a certain class of proteins, known as phosphatases, and how they interact with other molecules in the giant chain of events we refer to as “cell signaling”. The protein I work with is Calcineurin, a key phosphatase inside of the human brain – it accounts for almost 1% by mass – and its dysfunction plays a key role in Alzheimer’s disease and Down Syndrome. In order to develop new targets for Alzheimer’s disease and Down Syndrome, the interworking’s of Calcineurin and how this protein interacts with other molecules in the cell need to be uncovered. That’s what I am working towards uncovering, and I love every minute of it. When I am not in class or at the bench, you can find me either reading the latest thriller novel, exploring a new trail, or traveling the world.