Striving Towards the Asymptote of Perfect Performance

As human beings, we’re accustomed to the idea that a fixed amount of effort will produce an expected result. If we study diligently for a test, we’ll get a good grade. If we work hard in the gym, we’ll get stronger. I think one of the hardest parts of being a researcher is that this…

Semester Reflection: Two-Yard Runs

At the beginning of this semester my Principal Investigator, Dr. Samer Tohme, stressed that this process would require a lot of patience. He emphasized that progress in research is slow, occasionally frustrating, and anything but linear. He compared it to running the ball in football. There were going to be a lot of two-yard runs,…

Reflecting On My CURF Experience

The Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Fellowship (CURF) has proven to be one of my most valuable experiences as a Pitt student thus far. In collaborating with a mentor that I may not have had an opportunity to work with otherwise, aside from enrolling in a class, I was able to form a meaningful relationship with Professor…

Stop, Breathe, Reevaluate, Repeat: A Reflection on My CURF Experience

Going into this research project, I definitely overestimated how much time I would have to research everything that I wanted to. I was so excited to examine the role that prejudice and xenophobia played in immigration during times of disease that I tried to take on way more than what was feasible and realistic. Initially,…

My CURF

My understanding of my project became better as time went on. At the beginning, I was very confused about what exactly my project was trying to understand in the broader sense. I understood the individual experiments I was conducting and how they help me accomplish my goals, but I did not know how exactly my…

Vomiting Physiology – A Work in Progress

Throughout my time working under the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Fellowship (CURF), I have gained a greater understanding of the research process as a whole. I have experienced some highs and lows in my work this semester, but I am glad to say that I took something away from each and every experience. Sometimes, it is…

Growing as a Researcher: Reflecting on my Experience with CURF

Reflecting on my experiences with CURF over the past semester, it is evident that I have grown immensely as a researcher. Among many other things, I have learned the importance of patience, flexibility, and persistence while approaching the numerous challenges that often accompany scientific research. In terms of my particular research project, I was given…

Lessons in Research: I tried, I failed, I learned…

One of the things that I learned the most throughout my research experience has been the value of discussion. Discussing ideas and approaches with my research mentor and various other specialists in the field at various points during my research has been extremely helpful and has helped me to find the path that I am…

Becoming a Researcher: Handling a Steep Learning Curve

Due to COVID-related logistical issues, I have only recently been allowed to physically conduct work in the lab. However, in my first couple of weeks at the Geller Lab I have been able to learn a great deal. One great aspect of being new to almost everything I am seeing is that the learning never…