Undergraduate Research Molecular Genetics

What?

During the summer I worked with Dr. Helen Chamberlin in the Department of Molecular Genetics. I continued my research project: C.elegans vs. C.briggsae lin-3/ EGF gene comparison. During the summer I identified one gene that gon-14 and that the gu102 mutant allele causes a splicing defect in this gene.

The mutation in gu102 mutant is changing how the splicing is occurring causing introduction of stop codon. The most common outcome of the mutation that we have is the failure to splice because of the stop codon. After identifying this gene through a series of experiments, I started to sequence the entire gene gon-14 gene of the C.briggsae mutants. I am currently doing experiments to determine how the gon-14 gene affects the EGF/lin-3 pathway. Previous experiments in C. elegans show that this gene has only a minor role in altering EGF signaling, arguing that the signaling network in C. briggsae is more sensitive to disruption of this gene compared to C. elegans.

So what?

The STEP experience helped me because the results of the research I did this summer will be included in my undergraduate research. I will be writing my undergraduate thesis during my senior year. Completing an undergraduate thesis will be a great accomplishment in my undergraduate career. I want to graduate with undergraduate research honors. Also, I want to continue presenting in research forums and symposiums (NMS Research Forum, Denman Research Forum, SACNAS National Conference, among others) to gain more experience in the research field. . I learned that I love research and I want to pursue a PhD in Neuroscience with a focus on molecular genetics and systems. Thus, helping shape my plans for the future in terms of Graduate School and the research topic for my PhD.

Now What?

As I explained before, the STEP Undergraduate experience helped me realize that I want to pursue a PhD. During this experience, I realized that I love research and I want to purse a career as a researcher. In terms of academics, I will target my classes to fit the PhD Program requirements. I want to take several Graduate School courses on my last semester at OSU to be more prepared for Graduate School. As of my personal and life goals moving forward, the STEP experience helped me narrow my future plans. Now I know what I want to pursue a PhD degree and I also have a better idea in which area- Neuroscience with a Molecular/Cellular and System specialization. Moving forward, I will continue with my studies and will be applying to Graduate Schools next summer. I’m really grateful to have participated in the STEP Experience this past summer, this experience gave me an idea of my future plans and for that I am very thankful.

Molecular Genetics Lab

Molecular Genetics Lab

 

Presenting my research at the SACNAS National Conference in Los Angeles, California.

Presenting my research at the SACNAS National Conference in Los Angeles, California.