Melissa is working on a project
involving regulating the genetics of Drosophila fruit flies, the
identification of its phenotypes and genotypes, eye and wing
dissection, and immunohistochemistry.
How did you get involved in research?
I got involved in research when Dr. Paez asked me if I would be interested in
joining his lab. He described the research that he did and the work and research
experience I would gain. I know many people who have had cancer and I wanted to
learn more about it.
How has participating in research impacted your education?
Participating in research has helped me a lot. I have gotten a lot of experience
that I couldn't have gotten from just taking courses. My work has helped me
narrow down which aspect of biology I want to specialize in. I have gained
valuable lab experience and experience in a laboratory work environment.
What has been the most satisfying aspect of your research experience?
The most satisfying aspect of my research experience so far is the experience I
have gotten in working in a lab with other people. I didn't have any real work
environment experience before I joined the UROP program. I have learned a lot
about techniques and working with other people, as well as a lot about the
research area I am involved in. My project is still in the early stages, so I
can't say much about it, but I know that I will learn a lot from this research.
What are your future plans? How has participating in research helped you in
preparing for those future plans?
I plan on going on an off-campus study in 2010, and participating in the UROP
program is helping prepare for that experience. The more involved in research I
become, the closer I get to deciding what exactly it is that I want to do with a
degree in biology. My goal is to find a job after I graduate, and all of the
techniques that I have learned and the experience that I have gained will help
me with that.
What advice would you give to students interested
in being involved in research?
My advice is to explore the different projects available on the UROP site, and
if nothing stands out, talk to a few professors, there may be a project you can
help with that isn't advertised on the website. It is a great experience!