How did joining MRC impact you?
The University of Michigan is one of the largest colleges in the nation. There are more than 26,000 undergraduates and accumulate to over 40,000 people at this institution as a whole. It is easy to get lost which is why MRC, a small and comfortable community, was a helpful learning environment. You will notice how you will know a lot more people in Mojo than other dorms. Taking the research class together first semester really cements your knowledge of whom you are living with, and at the same time, you are getting more advice that regular UROP students don't get. MRC also provides social and academic activities which are always fun and helpful.
MRC was a huge part of my first year at U of M, and was an amazing experience. The community is very close, and I made tons of friends within the MRC and especially in my hall. The study groups were extremely helpful and my research from this year gave me the connections to get a paid position in the anesthesiology department for research this year.
The MRC has had an immeasurable impact on my college experience. For one thing, I was able to work on a faculty-sponsored research project, an opportunity that very few first-year students have at other universities. Through this research, I developed valuable skills that I otherwise would never have known. However, what really sets the MRC apart from other research programs is our close community. I connected with a diverse body of students from across the country and around the world as well as our loyal network of MRC alumni. All of the professional, social, and academic opportunities here have helped me to find my way home in our community and to understand where I want my college career to take me.
What research experience did you develop from MRC?
I conducted research with the Student Space Systems Fabrication Laboratory (S3FL) where I worked on cube satellites. I mostly did design and stress analysis and I laerned tons about the engineering design process and designing to have certain stress properties. The highlight of my experience was starting to see the satellite finally come together!
For my research, I worked in the Radiochemistry Department in the Medical Science I Building working to generate radiopharmaceuticals for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging using analogues of Click Chemistry. My advisors were Dr. Peter J.H. Scott and Dr. Allen F. Brooks, talented men in medicinal chemistry.
My research greatly helped with my Organic Chemistry I and II classes and put me way ahead of the average student in the lab portions of those classes. I learned skills such as running chemical reactions, column chromatography (flash columns too), NMR and IR spectroscopy, how to interpret online chemical databases, how to order chemicals, how to analyze reaction schemes using ChemDraw software, how a particle accelerator functions, etc.
My research was good enough to be accepted to the National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR), which I attneded at the University of Wisconsin -- La Crosse. My research poster won the Most Outstanding Poster Award at the University of Michigan UROP symposium as well.
Being able to converse with post-doctoral fellows and other production chemists was an eye-opening experience for me, and was a good glimpse of what is out there.
Macomb Township, Michigan
Last year I participated in a research project within the Department of Molecular Biology. The project studied the genetics of Campylobacter jejuni, a bacterium that is the leading cause of gastroenteritis world-wide and is found naturally in the intestines of chickens and other avian species. Our goal was to identify a regulator of the genes encoding the zinc transport systems within the bacterial cell, which are necessary for cell colonization. While participating in this project I was able to learn much more about bacteria, a topic that was not covered in much detail in my classes. With this project I was able to enjoy the satisfaction of successfully completing an experiment and obtaining data that helped others in the lab with their endeavors.