Terri Long ’98, associate professor in molecular biology at North Carolina State University, credits her career path to her childhood home — a small farm in Louisburg, North Carolina. Her enjoyment of nature and outside play developed into a love for plants that would help shape her career.
During her second summer as a Morehead-Cain Scholar, Long considered field research before seeking a role in a laboratory environment.
“I found myself on the side of a mountain counting this rare plant species, and thought, ‘Maybe I’m not as outdoorsy as I thought I was.’” Terri laughed. “I still wanted to work with plants, but I thought maybe I should work in a lab instead.”
Today, Terri oversees a lab at N.C. State University, identifying genes that direct how a plant absorbs and uses nutrients. She said the most rewarding part of her work is the daily opportunity to mentor students one-on-one.