For my capstone, I decided to participate in undergraduate research as a part of Dr. Pat Limbach's lab group. On the right is a picture of our holiday party and I am pictured standing on the far right. I also counted this as an honors experience by taking the time to reflect on what I learned and how I grew as an individual after the experience. This experience really opened my eyes to what research is like and greatly increased my appreciation and understanding of my field. I liked working in the lab so much that I decided to continue for another semester.

My work involves development of a new method to increase yield of nucleotides extracted from cell cultures. By increasing yield of nucleotides from each cell culture, further studies will benefit from the greater sample size. The common method used to lyse cells comprises of procedure using a chaotropic agent, generally TRI reagent. A new method was devised that let cell cultures incubate in Proteinase K during the lysing process. The yeild from this new method was found to be significantly higher than traditional methods of lysing cell cultures. I will be a co-author to a publication including my work; the manuscript is currently being prepared.

Below you can view my honors experiential learning proposals and a reflective essays for both semesters. Also below is the capstone presentation I gave that summarizes my research and an essay that goes into depth about my research experience.

Capstone Essay

As a part of my capstone, I was required to write an in-depth account of what I did in the lab. The methods I followed and materials I used are outlined. I also discuss my results and draw conclusions from the data I obtained. Further, the narrative of the semester is told and I talk about the initial roadblocks I faced.
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Capstone Presentation

At the end of the semester, I gave a presentation on my work and findings to Dr. Limbach, my mentor and to the other members of the lab. I discuss not only methods and data, but what the experience was like in general and mention hardships and roadblocks I faced. By presenting my work at the end I was able to take a look at how far I had come and what I had accomplished.
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"Scientific research is one of the most exciting and rewarding of occupations."
- Frederick Sanger