Finishing the CURF & A Sneak Peak into My Work!

Me after finishing my paper!! My Process: Conducting research can definitely be challenging and intimidating at times! I found that the most difficult part for me was knowing where to begin. Doing an independent research assignment for the first is daunting and figuring out where to start is challenging. In times of feeling overwhelmed and…

Reflections / Ramblings from CURF

Due to its hands-on nature, research can be incredibly exciting, fun, and engaging (especially when it works). However, as with most things, this is not “always” the case. And when things don’t work as expected, research can be frustrating, disappointing, and perhaps not so fun. This semester has really been a semester of growing along…

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…

CURF 3: The Road Ahead

This semester, I worked a lot on my BPhil/Honors thesis project. One of the tasks I had to do for the honors thesis was to create a proposal and defend it to my committee. For this, I had to create and give a quick (15-20 min) presentation summarizing my proposal. I learned a great deal…

CURF 3: Final Reflections of the Semester

Over the course of the semester, my understanding of the research process changed quite a bit. Last spring, it appeared that my experiments were more successful on average. However, looking back, this is not completely true. Working with fewer variables and simpler mechanisms, my previous data looks better, and that was on purpose. Instead of…

CURF Reflection

All cells in a multicellular organism contain the exact same DNA. However, to create the different cell types (neurons, blood cells, etc), each cell uses or expresses different pieces of DNA, creating mRNAs that encode for proteins needed in different cell types. I spent this semester researching the role eRNAs (a type of non-protein-coding RNAs)…

CURF Post 3- Summing Up the Semester

This semester in the lab was different from previous ones in that I was responsible for training a new undergraduate student on top of completing my other lab work. One of the hardest things to balance at least for me in the lab is time. With classes and experiments that run for hours it can…

My Experience Joining a Lab at Pitt

One of the main things that drew me to Pitt was the multitude of different research opportunities available all over campus. I tried a few different types of research before landing on the VanDemark Lab and ultimately deciding that I was interested in wet lab and biology research. From my experience in my biology courses,…

Experience as a Researcher

My interest in research stems from a curiosity for how the world (especially the parts we can’t see) works. I want to constantly be learning about the mechanisms of cells, development, and gene expression. It was this passion for discovery that prompted me to reach out to Dr. Sarah Hainer via email about the work…

CURF: Finding my place

Freshman year, I came into Pitt as an astrophysics major. I took physics and calculus classes for a year and a half before realizing it wasn’t my passion and switched to psychology. However, I discovered I missed the science and math that was a big part of my previous major and looked for ways to…