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Shayna Sandhaus

Degree: Ph.D. in Chemistry

College/School: School of Integrated Science and Humanity, College of Arts, Sciences & Education

Shayna Sandhaus had no plans to pursue a career in chemistry. But after taking a few introductory courses while a high school student in dual enrollment, she set her sights on a chemistry Ph.D. The journey became a family affair.

Shayna gave birth to her first son right before completing her bachelor’s degree. She was pregnant with her second during the most challenging year of her doctoral program which included balancing research in the lab, teaching and taking care of her 3-year-old son.

In December of last year, she became a mother of two. Just a month later, she was back in the lab — a feat made possible by the support of her husband and family.

Working alongside Yuk-Ching Tse-Dihn, Shayna studied antibiotic-resistant superbugs. Antibiotic resistance has become a global health problem with major implications for surgery, childbirth and chemotherapy. Shayna’s research focused on finding new drugs and drug targets — specifically for tuberculosis — that could lead to new treatments for people infected with bacteria that don’t respond to current antibiotics. Shayna has presented her research at the joint American Society of Microbiology National Meeting and authored four publications on drug discovery topics.

After graduation, Shayna is going to take a much needed vacation. She hopes to stay in South Florida to work for a biotech company and learn more about bringing a drug to market.

By Ayleen Barbel Fattal
Account Manager, College of Arts, Sciences & Education