On reflection of my journey since completing my undergraduate studies at UB, it is clear to me that the seeds of my enthusiasm for discovery were sown early in my life. I was always the kid in the mud exploring hidden microworlds in the creeks and foliage near my house. My fortune of being accepted into Dr. Shermali Gunawardena’s lab at the end of my freshman year of college, provided me the intellectually rich environment that helped foster and channel that raw curiosity I found in myself as a child to ask probing scientific questions.
My work in Dr. Gunawardena’s lab focused on developing a methodology using fruit flies that would advance our understanding of how proteins and other vital cargos are trafficked across the long distances in neurons. This process is crucial for neuron survival and function, and many human diseases are associated with deficits in this process such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. Our new system allowed us to visualize and directly measure the movement of these cargoes over a period of neural development. CURCA’s support of this work gave the opportunity to experience the process of writing a grant and presenting my work to the community at large. Both are inextricable steps to the scientific process.
Today, I am continuing to develop my ability to explore fundamental problems in nature by pursuing my PhD in Biochemistry at UB. Since then I have used the skills which CURCA helped to facilitate to grow to write numerous grants and present at national and international conferences. My success thus far has been the direct result of the opportunities and support I have received during my undergraduate research. These early experiences have helped to make my ambitions of becoming a scientific investigator on the forefront of human knowledge a possibility.
Last updated: October 18, 2016 2:39 pm EST