1.Description of Project
I worked with a team of undergraduates called OhioMOD to participate in research as part of a international competition called BIOMOD. The research took place in Nanoengineering and Biodesign Lab in Scott Laboratory. The research focused on biomolecular technology specifically using DNA origami for drug delivery applications. Link to project website: http://www.ohiomod2017.club/
Through this project, I gained a better understanding of academic research and biomolecular technology. Previously I had no research experience and real lab experience. Being in an academic research lab performing experiments and collecting data gave me a better appreciation of this type of work. Also, attending the international competition gave me a broader view of the type of research that occurs around the world. I also learned that research is something that I’m interested in pursuing in the future.
3. Causes of Transformation
For this research project, I worked on a team with 8 undergraduates as well as 2 graduate mentors. We performed experiments over the summer and planned for the international competition. In addition to developing a project, performing experiments, and collecting data, we also had to create a website and video describing our project. Performing experiments and collecting data taught me the importance of patience. Experiments were often tedious and time consuming in addition to not always giving clear results. This project transformed me because I came into this project not knowing about biomolecular research, DNA origami, and general lab practices. Now, I have a decent understanding of these topics and can share my experiences to help me with future opportunities like finding a new lab position or finding a job. Also, I helped create the website for our project which helped me learn about the process of setting up a website, coding, and using GitHub.
Working with a team of motivated people in a research lab was a great way to make connections with people who share similar interests. I made new friends and created new opportunities for myself by meeting people who worked in academic research. Although the project involved hard work, it was a lot of fun working with others towards a common goal. Everyone in the lab was very friendly and excited to tell us about their research projects. The mentors and other graduate students were very helpful and willing to spend time to answer any questions I had.
Attending the competition was an amazing experience because I got to learn about cool projects around the world that related to the field of research I was involved in these past few months. It made me realize how awesome this type of technology is and the potential applications it can have. Not only can it be used for biological purposes but also for improving the environment. Learning about other projects gave me a better appreciation of research and made me realize that I was a part of something that could one day make the world a better place.
4. Significance of Transformation
The transformations from this project are significant and valuable to me for my academic and professional goals. I had always wanted to participate in academic research and this project provided me with the opportunity to achieve this goal. Also, having research experience looks great when pursuing opportunities in other labs. In addition, this experience was something that I could put on resume and talk about at interviews. This opportunity gave me valuable experience working with a team on an open ended project. The skills and knowledge I gained from working on this research team will definitely help me with my future endeavors.