Cell and Molecular Biology Doctoral Student Li Ma
"Nick was an undergraduate student enrolled in the IE program. I served as his mentor. His goal was to gain some hands-on experience in a real microbiology research lab. His assigned project was to make a deletion of a gene in the pathogen Vibrio cholerae. This project involves training in both molecular genetics and biochemistry, and the student will benefit from performing experiments in cloning and phenotypic assays. So far, Nick has successively constructed the plasmid containing the gene of interest replaced with an antibiotic resistance gene. He will work on moving the construct to a shuttle vector and clone it into V. cholerae. Nick has learned how to plan experiments efficiently, perform experiments with basic lab techniques, as well as lab housekeeping.
As a graduate student and Nick's IE Mentor, I am very happy to have such a chance not only to help a student learn something in microbiology, but also to gain a valuable experience in teaching. This type of experience is distinctively different from the experience one might gain from teaching a class; it requires extensive interactions and a lot of scientific thinking and doing. This will greatly benefit my future career in academia. I will recommend this to any graduate student who wants to have a career in academia in the future."