When reflecting on my own personal project my understanding of the research has definitely shifted forward. Throughout this summer I have gained more independence by learning new laboratory techniques and perfecting those I learned previously. In addition to this I have gained a deeper appreciation and understanding of my project which focuses on a glycolytic disease called Triosephosphate Isomerase deficiency. I used to approach this topic very one-dimensionally, however biological systems are much more complicated and nuanced than I could have ever imagined. Every day it seems like we are filling in new parts into a incomplete image, connections are made, and the picture gets larger and larger. Therefore, this revelation has caused me to not just specifically focus on my niche field but also biological research as a whole. I also got to hear about the projects of students in my Brackenridge cohort and other fellowships, giving me a better understanding of research in other fields such as English and sociology. I loved the interdisciplinary nature of the program because it gave you the ability to mingle with people outside of your field, which can be a breath of fresh air.
The Brackenridge Fellowship was definitely a worthwhile experience. One of the most obvious benefits of this fellowship is the ability to conduct research over the summer term and being able to financially support yourself. The generosity of the fellowship has allowed me to pursue and practice my passion for science and research. Another benefit is the contact you have with the faculty of the Honors college, which is a great way to get solid advice and begin networking. Lastly, as I have stated before meeting other students in the program was also a valuable part of the fellowship.
As a rising senior studying molecular biology, I hope to finish out my last year and continue researching at my current lab. During this last year I hope to keep increasing my independence in the lab and simply gain as much experience as possible. With this work I hope to complete a honors thesis through the department of biological sciences. Moving forward I hope to apply for a PhD program specializing in biochemistry/genetics this coming December. With this I hope to ultimately end up working for a biotech company that specializes in synthetic biology such as Ginkgo Bioworks. In a place like this I still hope my job is related to basic research in some way.