Eight Weeks After…

Before I started this internship, I had little to no idea what research really meant. Thanks to the precious opportunity that I was given, I have been able to not only gained a good deal of technical knowledge but also get a sneak peak of the life as a researcher.

One of the best things that I like about research is that there is no standard answer. We are all pondering on questions that no one has answered before. This nature of research has taught me well in terms of paying attention to every single detail of the experiments and carefully examine any unexpected results. I especially love the freedom that comes with research. The direction of the project is entirely in our control. It certainly was a joy when my data matched with previous study; however, I often found myself getting even more excited when I saw something unexpected that was not due to errors. Often times these interesting results would spark some great discussions and lead us to new ideas of hypotheses and more experiments to further investigate the situations.

Besides learning about microtubules, microscopy, image analysis, and MATLAB from my project, this internship has also given me many opportunities to meet inspiring and intelligent people throughout the summer. Being in a scientific community, I feel very lucky to be surrounded by incredibly hardworking and talented professors, mentors, and fellow undergraduate researchers. Many of them have directly or indirectly given me advice on my future career path. Most importantly, their professionalism and knowledge on science and engineering have motivated to work harder to match up the high standard in this professional community.

It has been a very fulfilling and enjoyable summer and there are many people to thank. I want to thank the people from CSEP and the coordinator of EUREKA, Dr. Arica Lubin,  for putting their faith in me and awarded me this internship that brought me many great learning experiences. I also appreciate the support from everyone in my lab, and especially the additional guidance and mentoring from Dr. Megan Valentine, Dezhi Yu, and Dr. Ben Lopez. I look forward to continuing working in the lab, further expanding on my current project, and investigating more on the mechanical properties of microtubules throughout the school year.