2013 CSURP Participant
I participated in C-SURP (CUNY- Summer Undergraduate Research Program) in 2013 which is a ten week program and in this program coordinator will choose students and direct them towards the ongoing research in which they are interested in. During this program, every week we had a seminar in which famous scientists tell us about their research and how they became scientist. They also told us about the job opportunities available for scientist and researchers at academic and industrial level.
I work as an undergraduate researcher under the guidance of my mentor Alicia Melendez at new science building located in Queens College. I was given a project to construct two new strains of C.Elegans (microscopic worms). I learned many new scientific techniques such as using GFP scopes, how to maintain the worm, cleaning worms from any contamination and how to operate Axio vision software to analyze the pictures of Worms. At the end of the program, I was able (with help of undergraduate students, graduate students and my mentor) to construct the strains of C.elegans and was able to run 3 trials for experiments on one of the strain.
I would not be able to accomplish that much amount of work in 10 weeks if I didn’t took the fundamental of bio-techniques class in LaGuardia Community College. I learned basic procedure that is used in almost every lab. From this course, I was able to learn how to run the PCR and set the program in PCR machines, how to use micropipettes, extraction of DNA, making and running the gel during gel electrophoresis process and how to analyze the results from these process.
For my project in Queens College, I need to run the gel again and again to confirm the identity of the strains and see whether they have any contamination in them. Undergraduate student (David) in Queens College helped me in every step of my experiment and allowed me to practice the procedures by myself because of the knowledge I had from the Bio-techniques Class.
I learned many things about the job opportunities in the field of biology from seminars and the step by step guide line of getting a PhD. It was a great experience in participating in this program and will continue to look for such research programs to learn more and master the techniques I have already learned.
I like to thank my professor Thomas Onorato (Dr.T) for encouraging me to participate in this program. I also like to thank Dr. Avrom Caplan for creating such a wonderful program. I am very grateful to my Mentor Alicia Melendez and her whole team (specially David and Nic) to help me in times when I needed the most and making my undergraduate research experience the best experience of my life.