Senior Jerico Mellet’s Favorite Class: Molecular Biophysics

Jericho smiles, stands outside of Rowan Boulevard.

This story is a part of the “My Favorite Class” series.

Today we speak to Jerico Mellet, a senior Biomedical Engineering major with CUGS in Training and Development and Management and Leadership. Jerico is a first-generation college student and off-campus renter from Gloucester County. He tells us about a course that left a lasting impression with him. 

Jerico poses outside in front of a brick wall.

What is your favorite class?

My favorite class is Biophysics [now called Molecular Biophysics], which was taught by Dr. Nathaniel Nucci. The course is offered by the Physics Department.

Tell us a little about what the class is.

The class studied biological processes using Gibb’s Free Energy Equation. The equation includes entropy and enthalpy, and entropy is the part where probability comes into play. For instance, the reason our DNA gets read/copied properly is that the probability of the protein going forward and copying correctly is higher than it going backward and copying incorrectly.

The content of the class was very fascinating to me, and the way that Dr. Nucci taught the course was very effective. He didn’t spoonfeed us information; it was a lot like teaching us how to fish instead so we can independently make the discoveries and solutions.

That class was the first class that got me really interested and excited about science because before I’ve been studying math on its own like calculus, or studying biology on its own. 

There was always some overlap, but the Biophysics (now it’s called Molecular Biophysics) class really connected the fields and put everything into a new perspective for me. We covered a lot of information, but not so much that it was overwhelming. He kept everything at an understandable pace.

Jerico wears sunglasses, poses next to a bare tree on a snow-covered campus.

Share with us a few details on why this class was interesting.

The class put what I knew about biology in mathematical/probabilistic terms, which changed the way I view science, biology and math.

Is there anything else that made this class impactful?

It pushed me beyond my comfort zone, and how he led the class toward understanding the concepts was empowering because he wouldn’t just give us the answers, but sometimes asked us questions to have us revisit what we thought we knew. 

Jerico smiles, poses next to a tree outside on a snow-covered campus.

What makes this professor great?

He gave us the tools to figure out the questions. He’d walk around checking in on everyone, always made himself available, and was encouraging.

How did this class help to support your academic or personal growth or your professional goals?

It helped me see connections between different fields of science, biology and math. As I take further classes, I grow curious about other connections such as harmony in music and how harmonious movement could be energy efficient.

What are your professional goals?

Since I was born in Peru and speak Spanish, I want to go back and start a company there to provide healthy jobs for people and that would benefit the country as a whole, and eventually bring that to other countries around the world.

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Story and photography by:
Rachel Rumsby, sophomore communication studies and public relations double major

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