Biochemistry & Biophysics
Upon starting at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, I was amazed at all the opportunities presented before me. From academics to organizations to social life, the prospects were overwhelming. I remember in particular, however, staring at the beautiful Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Sciences (aka Biotech). In this building was cutting edge research, and I hoped that I would be able to work in there by the time I was a senior. As fortune would have it, I was able to do so much sooner. Accepted into the Accelerated BS/PhD program, I began research in Biotech in my fourth semester. I went through four excellent rotations. Working in different fields of biology, I gained experience with working in different group cultures, and different research approaches.
I ultimately settled with Swank Lab, where I now conduct muscle physiology studies using Drosophila melanogaster. Muscles in a fruit fly? Yes, even though they're small, intact muscle fibers can be dissected from the fly and have its various properties studied. In the past I have worked on a specific mutation strain that models a human cardiomyopathy. I also recently developed a new protocol for photographing the flies during tethered flight.
My current project involves investigating the converter domain of myosin, the motor protein of muscle. I was awarded a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation to fund my research efforts.