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Don Julien

photo of Donald Julien

Nanotechnology Student
Richland College

“Nanotechnology is a big field in pharmaceuticals, since it provides different ways to deliver drugs and how they interact with the body. Having a degree in nanotechnology in addition to my bachelor’s degree in biochemistry will hopefully put me ahead of the competition when it comes time to look for a job.

“I specifically want to work in research, in drug discovery and design. I’d like to help improve how current drugs work and interact, as well as create new drugs.

“What really interests me is the role of carbon nanotubes in the medical field. A carbon tube has a hexagonal arrangement and normally has four bonds, but when it’s functionalized it has three bonds, leaving one to attach to something else. It’s a strong and flexible arrangement that has a lot of applications in medicine, engineering, semiconducting and other fields. The potential for carbon nanotubes — in fact all of nanotechnology — is great.

“I’ve wanted to go into a scientific field since I was very young. In fact, one of my friends told me I was the only person he knew who grew up to become what they said they wanted to be in fifth grade. I became even more interested in research when I was earning my bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, since I enjoyed the research I did there.

“My experience at Richland has been great. Dr. Kory Goldammer explains everything in great detail; it’s very hands-on learning with a lot of discussion on how to apply nanotechnology technology to the real world. He gives us a lot of information on how the field is developing and where the job opportunities are coming, as well as research resources to get us ready for the workforce.

“What are my career goals over the next few years? I’ll probably go for a higher educational degree. Then I’d love to be working at a research facility, whether it’s in a hospital or pharmaceutical company or other place where I can be on the forefront of working with new drugs. I’d like to be someone who discovers a new way of drug delivery or performance to be able to help people and to find a cure for diseases we haven’t been able to conquer yet.”

Donald Julien is earning an associate degree in Nanotechnology from Richland College. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Centenary College in Shreveport, La.