The I-CUREUS Research Internship is an opportunity to take learning out of the textbook and gain hands on experience in a research environment. I had the opportunity to work under the supervision of Dr. William Willmore from the Biochemistry department. In Dr. Willmore’s lab I have worked with DNA, protein, bacterial cells, and mammalian cells learning a wide variety of techniques that can be applied to gain a better understanding of how Nrf1, an antioxidant stress response protein, functions and is regulated.
This internship allowed me to learn how research questions are approached as well as techniques used in research labs such as transformation, transfection, cell maintenance, western blotting, and much more. Research internships relate back to what is learned in class and I found give a deeper understanding of the scientific process as well as teach you a new way of approaching scientific questions. In course work or labs – having research experience allows you to critically evaluate what you are learning and doing. Often you may find that you now have the knowledge to find a better way of accomplishing a specific task or a deeper understanding of what is being taught.
To anyone who is considering applying for an I-CUREUS grant I highly recommend it. Find a researcher on campus who is doing something that you find interesting and don’t be afraid to try something different; when you pass your comfort zone is often when you learn the most.