Nathan 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 became involved with research after being in a biology class taught by Dr.
Paez. He encouraged me to think about getting involved in undergraduate research
and apply to the UROP. Other faculty members who advise students to get involved
in research also influenced me and I had some friends doing research projects as
well. With their encouragement I joined UROP at the beginning of 2009.
How has participating in research impacted your education?
Participating in research has made a great difference in the way I view my
education. It has helped me to understand the reason for independent exercises
in laboratory courses and how important it is to be able to synthesize what you
learn in lectures and labs in order to develop your own ideas. It provides
valuable experience of what scientific research is like in a professional
laboratory setting and gives me an opportunity to apply what I learn in classes
to real research situations.
What has been the most satisfying aspect of your research experience?
The most satisfying part of my experience has been the opportunity to cooperate
with a faculty member and peers as a member of a research team. It is very
edifying to feel that even as an undergraduate student I am able to contribute
to the lab’s research goals. I have enjoyed learning a great deal about applied
genetics research and having fun at the same time. I am eagerly anticipating
traveling to the Michigan Academy of Arts, Sciences, and Letters annual
conference in Grand Rapids this March to present research done in my lab over
the last year.
What are your future plans? How has participating in research helped you in
preparing for those future plans?
I plan to continue undergraduate research into my senior year. This summer I
will be traveling to a medical school in Philadelphia to take part in a research
project on which I will write my thesis. I am very excited about this
opportunity. I would not be able to it without the preparation I have received
from research at U of M- Flint. It is through research here that I have been
learning the lab techniques and protocols that I need to know in order to
participate in the other research program. .
What advice would you give to students interested
in being involved in research?
My advice is: Go for it! If you think you are interested in a career related to
research, you can get your feet wet right now. If not, you can try it anyway and
gain a lot of valuable experience and you may find you enjoy it more than you
thought you would.