Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a biology major, with a minor in chemistry, and health & medical humanities in the Honors College here at Charlotte. My current research project is Understanding inter-chromosomal homologous recombination to repair chromosomal double-strand breaks in the pancreas using a unique “Rainbow Mouse” model. The purpose of this research is to determine the balance of legitimate recombination versus illegitimate repair and chromosomal translocations within specific pancreatic cell sub-populations.
How did you find out about undergraduate research opportunities?
I found out about undergraduate research by talking with various professors while taking the general biological sciences. From that point, they told me to go to the biology website and click through the different professors, and read their research papers to see if they’re working on projects I would have a passion for.
How has your research experience prepared you for your next goals?
My research experience has prepared me for my career because it has taught me valuable skills, that you can not get outside of a laboratory setting. Furthermore, it inspired me to eventually pursue a Ph.D. and contribute to research after I graduate as well. 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"?For students interested in research, I would encourage you to start looking early, and even outside of our university, there are so many amazing topics and projects that you can get involved in, and they’re all incredible experiences in which you get to contribute to science. For those who think research is not for them, I would encourage you to give it a try. There was a time when I thought research wouldn’t be interesting or something I wanted to pursue along with my other career goals. My experience in the lab changed all of that and gave me new insights into life. What is one thing that you learned about yourself from this research experience? From my research experience, I’ve learned I have better problem-solving skills than I give myself credit for. I also learned it’s okay to fail, a large portion of science is failing, and it’s how you overcome those failures that define you as a person.