Tell us a little about yourself.
I am currently a Junior here at UNC Charlotte majoring in Biology and minoring in Chem. On my free time, I love to workout at the university rec center and be a part of the Archery team! I am also one of the newest additions to the Truman lab research team. I currently work on the impact of patient-derived cancer mutations on Ssa1 in yeast. For the past four months I have been exploring 8 mutation sites that could possibly be the cause/driver of cancer and examining their ability to support basic chaperone function.
How did you find out about undergraduate research opportunities?
I found out about undergraduate research opportunities at UNC Charlotte through flyers hanging up on bulletinboards in Woodward Hall.
How has your research experience prepared you for your next goals?
My research experience so far has definitely set me up for my future goals in attending medical school and pursuing a career in the medical field. Not only have I gained deeper knowledge about molecular biology and the role protein chaperone molecules play in cancer, I have also learned many life skills that I will take with me after I graduate. I have learned how to manage my own projects and effectively handle my time to carry them out. I have also gained more experience collaborating with others in a professional setting! These are all essential qualities that will make me an even stronger student and worker in the long run.
What advice would you give students who are interested in pursuing undergraduate research and what would you say to a student who says, “research is not for me”?
You never know unless you try! Students can be very susceptible to having very linear perspective about science. However, I have come to learn that undergraduate research gives you the opportunity to explore different perspectives you have never even thought about before in science. It is super cool knowing you are being a part of something that no one has ever worked on before that's greater than the classroom.
What is one thing that you learned about yourself from this research experience?
I have learned that it is okay to ask for help. I used to be a very independent student and dwelled on asking my peers for advice and guidance. However, I have come to learn that that is what being part of a research team is for. It feels really good knowing that I have a strong foundation of Master students, undergraduate researchers, postdoctorates, and the best PI to lean back on and guide me on my projects so I can succeed at the best of my abilities!