Tania Boyechko, on working in Dr. Mao's Lab Division of Clinical Nutrition
What (or who) inspired you to pursue hands-on research experience?
I cannot pinpoint an event or a person who inspired me to pursue a research experience. I know that I have always wanted to see if I like it. So far, I thoroughly enjoy it. I know that I want to be a medical professional someday, but I am still not certain if I want to take the PhD/MD route.
What do you enjoy most about your time in lab or in research in general?
What I enjoy most about my time in lab is when I get positive results for something I had worked on for a long time. In general though, I love the atmosphere of the lab.
Describe what a day might look like in lab?
During the summer and during school, my day at the lab is very different. During the summer, I get to the lab and usually start with my membranes that were soaking in an antibody overnight. Because it can be a lengthy process to wash them, apply the secondary antibody, wash them again, and then to reveal them, I do things in between. I sometimes make more polyacrylamide gels, buffers, or other solutions. At times, I start on a new Western blot and do everything associated with it. Sometimes, I do bacterial transformations and DNA extractions. My lab activities vary and depend on what my supervisor has me do that day.
At what point in your education did you realize this might be an opportunity for you?
When I had just finished my freshman year of college, I was looking for a summer job. The only job that I really wanted was to work in a research lab. I applied for two research assistant positions and was asked for an interview with Dr. Mao’s lab. My interests were geared more toward this lab so I knew this was the job for me.