Hometown: Manistee, MI
About: I work as a research assistant in the O’Brien lab which is part of the University of Michigan Medical School’s Department of Biological Chemistry. Our lab works with DNA repair enzymes. I specifically work with enzymes called DNA ligases. These are important enzymes all humans possess. In certain situations, cells make too much DNA Ligase III which can lead to certain cancers. This makes DNA ligases potential chemotherapeutic agents. My current project is to find chemicals that turn of DNA ligases and figure out how these chemicals work. Maybe one day these chemicals will be drugs to treat some cancers. My day to day activities involve planning and designing experiments, executing the experiments, and analyzing the data.
What are some things you have learned?
I’ve learned a lot about designing and conducting an experiment. Along with that, I’ve learned plenty of information about enzyme kinetics. Perhaps the biggest thing I’ve learned in lab is to be flexible because that things don’t always go according to plan.
Hometown: Farmington Hills, MI
About: I work as a research assistant in the CSET Lab which is a part of the Biomedical Engineering Department. In this lab, I work mainly with my mentor Dr. Jeff Beamish where we are studying the factors that affect the formation of vasculature networks and how these vasculature networks can affect the behavior of the surrounding cells.
What are some things you have learned: Through my research experience I have learned many different laboratory skills such as sterile technique, microscopy, and cell culture. In addition to these techniques, I have learned how to troubleshoot when something doesn't work, how to go from a big picture question to the minute details necessary to design an experiment, and most importantly, how interesting research can be!
Hometown: Novi, MI
Major: Biopsychology, Cognition and Neuroscience (BCN) and Gender and Health
About: I work as a research assistant at Biosocial Methods Collaborative at the Institute for Social Research. Our research is focused around behavioral and cognitive psychology with interdisciplinary elements. We run multiple experiments simultaneously so everyday is a little different. Some days I am collecting data and others I am helping design a new experiment. A few of our recent studies include looking at mental and physical stress associated with team sports and the self-objectification of women exposed to contemporary advertisements.
What are some things you have learned? Research has taught me so much. I have learned how to behavioral code, consent participants, use STATA, and design studies. I have also gained valuable skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, and leadership that I can apply to my life beyond the lab. Most importantly, I have learned that failure is not a bad thing - you are always able to learn something from the experience!