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My Journey in Biology

I am a passionate, young, and ambitious neuroscience and molecular biology learner. Since middle school, I have been actively studying these topics and working on small projects independently during my free time. As a freshman, I was admitted into a 4-week Research in the Biological Sciences (RIBS) program at the University of Chicago, where I advanced my knowledge and learned many new scientific techniques like cloning, cell culture, PCR, RNAi, and of C.elegans. Although the program was open only for students at least in their junior year, I still contacted the head of the program Dr. Schonbaum because I was extremely excited about the opportunity to continue my C.elegans research along with many other bright young scientists in the modern laboratories. This experience helped me realize that my hard work brings results and that biology and medicine are subjects I enjoy studying and practicing.

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When I was first introduced to neuroscience, I was fascinated by how the human brain of only 3-pound mass controls all the body’s activities. As a result, I began to devour all available books related to this subject like a hungry caterpillar. Within a few months, I would talk only about neuroscience and share my knowledge of neurodegenerative diseases with my friends and family. I could even open my own little library in my room. Continuing my journey in biology studies, I designed a home experiment to test turmeric antibacterial activity, in which I learned about data science and analysis. I then participated in a neuroscience competition, which boosted and fueled my curiosity in this subject research.

At home, I started exploring Alzheimer’s disease and its cures through, now my favorite, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) search engine. Thus, I came across an article about C.elegans and how they tested Ginkgo and soy extracts. I continued to read and learn about herbal cures and found that no one has ever tested Ashwagandha, Gotukola, turmeric, and bitter melon extract, which theoretically could be potential cures. I became very interested in discovering a new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, so I spent weeks studying C.elegans in detail and looking for related research and mentorship opportunities in my hometown.

I discovered that Dr.Severson and several other professors from CSU studied mitosis in C.elegans. I was very grateful and ecstatic when they agreed to involve me in their project. The research taught me the importance of proper planning, patience, and readiness for failure. I used a number of plates to farm C.elegans on them and learned that if these plates are not ready yet, then the process would get delayed. Sometimes the plates would get contaminated, so I had to redo and restart the entire research. Still, I realized that despite all the difficulties, I enjoy conducting experiments and appreciate seeing the result of my work. By the end of my freshman year, I became a skilled and confident C.elegans farmer and decided to start my own C.elegans project, for which I learned ANOVA online for precise data analysis.

I am an active self-learner with great interest in neuroscience and molecular biology, and I would like to pursue these subjects in my undergraduate studies. I conduct independent research and small home projects while also try to be involved in academic summer programs to receive professional guidance. During my freshman year, I began discovering the Alzheimer disease and its new potential treatment. Over summer, I was fortunate to participate in the RIBS program at UChicago and become an excellent C.elegans farmer at CSU. In my sophomore summer year, I researched protein structure at CASE and leaned new genetics techniques. I believe my journey in biology has only begun and hope that there are many more books and researches I can share with friends and add to my little library.

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