February 13, 2007 5:14 PM

Hi. Why Molecular Toxicology (moltox)

Heya. I'm a Molecular Toxicology major. What is MolTox? It's the study of toxicology at a molecular level. What's Toxicology? It's the study of adverse effects of substances on life. So why MolTox? I have two answers, a short one and a long one. To make things short, when I was applying to colleges back in high school, I didn't think I would get in anywhere. I did the "spray and pray" method. I applied to a total of 27 schools. At every school I chose something that seemed interesting. At Berkeley, it was MolTox. I figured that 1/2 to 2/3 of college students end up changing their major. It couldn't be that difficult to change majors. If I chose a safe major, I wouldn't take the chance to experiment and try new things. So MolTox.
For the long answer, read on:

Back in 7th grade, I complained about my height. (I was 5 feet back then, and I'm 5 feet now.) A friend told me about industrial pollution had caused growth problems. He named a toxin in Chinese that I didn't know. Years later, he died and I never did figure out what that toxin was. I learned about Silent Spring and Minamata Disease. When I saw Molecular Toxicology on the list of majors, I jumped at the chance to finally figure out what that toxin was. My first week at Berkeley, I went to meet my faculty adviser. I asked him if there was anything like that; he said no. So my quest ended there.
I'm now a sophomore. I've taken a tox class (NST 11: Intro to Toxicology), and I'm currently taking NSTC114: Pesticide Chem and Toxicology. I've found that the things I am learning are the things that I'm interested in. I like knowing how, why, when, and where toxins work. I enjoying learning about antidotes.
I have to say that I love my major. The only thing I could wish for would be a MolTox club. I've probably only met four other people in my major.
I'm not saying that you'll be happy if you go into MolTox, but find your passion and do it. :)

Best Regards,
Kristin

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