CURF 3: Wrapping up my research

As I progressed through my final fall semester here, I spent a significant amount of time in the lab pursuing research. What I want to highlight as my main takeaways from this semester and previous semesters is the importance of discussion and collaboration within the world of biological research. Being able to have a good and established relationship with my PI meant that I was able to get his advice, talk through experiments, and have him listen to my own suggestions, all of which facilitated my ability to do research. Also, having relationships with other labs in the department allowed me to reach out to grad students and professors about techniques that I was just beginning to try, like my foray into mammalian cell culture, and get advice from people with greater amounts of expertise. All of this is really in pursuit of high quality research and experimental set up. If I am able to design an experiment well, and approach a project as well informed as possible, there’s a better chance that I’m going to have an experiment that yields results, or will serve as a jumping off point for future experiments.

The CURF is ending in tandem with my time at Pitt coming to an end. I’ll be graduating in the upcoming weeks with a BS in Biological Sciences and Statistics, and have submitted graduate school applications for Biophysics PhD programs that I hope to hear back from in the upcoming months. Ideally, next August I’ll be beginning my PhD candidacy at one of those schools. I’m excited in particular to begin a new chapter in my research career, working in a different lab, learning new structural and biophysical techniques, and I think that my time in a research lab is what has prepared me so well to do that.

As for my research, it is still an ongoing project that our lab and our collaborators are working on. In terms of my goals of co-crystallization, I am still actively working to find conditions that are optimal to generate crystals of this complex. In the meantime, enjoy some pictures of the apo profilin crystals I obtained over previous years!

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