Ending Allergens’ Reign of Terror

Scholarship Entrant: Melissa from West Monroe, LA
Essay Question: If you could earn a living doing what you love most, what would it be, and how would it change the world? Describe the specific goals you would set to make that dream a reality.
Vote for Melissa: 58

If I could earn a living doing what I love the most, I would put my appetite for food into a research project that would hopefully discover a way to counteract food allergies. Epinephrine is a lifesaving tool, but I would like to uncover something that would stop Anaphylaxis from happening at all. As someone living with shellfish, ground nut, and tree nut allergies that have significantly progressed as I have gotten older, it is a personal mission of mine to invent something either in pill or wearable patch form that will allow sufferers to eat trigger foods safely. Ideally, this concoction would also reduce the strength of the allergen on the sufferer over time. Many food products today are subject to cross contamination from being cooked in restaurants that also prepare seafood and processed in factories that handle common trigger foods like peanuts. If I could change the world in one way, I would make this planet one where people could eat what they wanted without fear of death. I plan to use my time at the University of South Florida to participate in a research project that could prepare me to make my dream a reality that would change the world by opening new avenues of food to people. I also want to use what I learn while obtaining a nursing degree to help me reach my goal.

Vote for Melissa: 58

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