Saurabh Pancholi STEP Research Project

My STEP signature project involved an in depth analysis of cancer research here at The Ohio State University. I investigated the methylation of different human tissues and related it to Uveal Melanoma metastasis.

While completing this project, I learned a number of things. It mostly transformed my life by giving me the opportunity to develop a strong sense of how cancer is spread in the body. Moreover, this project explained to me why cancer is developed in the first place. These are all very valuable things to know, since cancer is one of the most leading causes of death in the world.

There were quite a few key aspects that lead to my transformation during the completion of this project. However, the two key aspects that lead to this most professional development were the people I interacted with during my project as well as the science behind the project.

My Principal Investigator, graduate/post-graduate researchers, and the undergraduates truly made a big difference during the project. Obviously, undergoing a scientific research project can be difficult, but having a solid team under your belt to guide your ambitions and explain difficult concepts was very helpful. It not only leads to learning more for myself, but I also was able to acquire a strong commodore amongst my lab.

Finally, the science I learned this summer in cancer genomics was extremely worthwhile. I learned about how Uveal Melanoma affects people through different types of tumors. Also, I learned how to effectively use Microsoft excel and work with large sequences of data. And finally, I was able to work independently which made me a better thinker and scientist in general.

This transformation is significant to my life because it was able to teach me a number of things. As a molecular genetics major, it was able to teach me in depth topics that would not be covered in my core classes. Furthermore, it taught me life skills of independence, critical thinking, and strong analyzation skills that will help aid me in any job I choose to pursue in the future. And finally, this project allowed me to develop strong connections with people in a variety of industries that will also aid in professional development.

Summer 2018 Research

This past summer, I was able to work in the department of Ophthalmology. As an undergraduate student researcher at The Ohio State University, I worked in the Dr. Abdel-Rahman lab, where we focused our research on the BAP1 gene – a gene that has been found to increase the risk for several cancers including ocular melanoma, skin melanoma, kidney cancer and mesothelioma when mutated. Our lab specializes on developing clinical trials for managing uveal melanoma patients with a high risk for systemic metastasis.