The Rogers Science research program has given me the ability to experience life as a full-time graduate student. This will be invaluable in a future PhD program that demands me to be constantly learning new things.
Degree and Class Year
What three words would you use to describe L&C?
Rogers Summer Science Research, July 2023
Describe what you are researching this summer. What is your exact role?
As a full-time summer research intern, I am studying the ways in which cells have evolved to selectively turn on and off genes under different conditions. This ability, known as gene regulation, has enabled life to develop a wide diversity of structures. But how genes are activated at precisely the right time and place remains mysterious. This summer, I am investigating how one particular cell type—embryonic stem cells—expresses a gene that is key for maintaining pluripotency. I am using genome editing techniques to make mutations to the regions of DNA—known as enhancers—that are thought to regulate this gene.
What’s the best part of this experience?
The best part of this experience has been learning to conduct scientific research independently. I am learning to plan and carry out experiments on my own, think critically about their results, and follow-up with further experiments. The rewarding part is getting to learn about how the world works!
How were you supported in finding and securing this research opportunity?
I was recruited by my current advisor, Dr. Sharon Torigoe. Fortunately, she had read my Lewis & Clark application and saw my potential as a scientist. She then sought me out during my first year. She encouraged me to apply for the John S. Rogers Science Program in 2021, and that’s when I truly began in the lab.
How do you see this experience leading to a career in your chosen field and/or aiding in your career development after L&C?
The Rogers program has given me the ability to experience life as a full-time graduate student. I’ve learned countless experimental techniques, and have a good handle on my area of study, but most importantly, I’ve learned how to adapt, and to think like a scientist. This will be invaluable in a future PhD program that demands me to constantly be learning new things.