A. My research is about the effect of phosphorylation on ribosomal proteins. We have constructed a yeast strain harboring two copies of genes for the same ribosomal protein. One gene is wildtype and is under control of the inducible galactose promoter; the other has a mutation on a phosphorylation target (i.e. a codon for serine, threonine, or tyrosine) and is expressed from a constitutive promoter. I make mutations that mimic and disallow phosphorylation at specific amino acids on evolutionarily conserved candidate phosphosites (sites where phosphorylation occurs). Since the gene under the inducible galactose promoter is repressible by the switch of media, it allows me to study the effect of these mutations on growth.
Q. How long have you been working on this project?
A. I’ve been working on this project for approximately three semesters.
Q. What do you like most about doing research?
A. I love that research requires one to think beyond just what we learn in the lecture hall. Research not only gives us the opportunity to apply the knowledge we gain in class, but also allows us to develop our critical thinking skills, which is important in any profession.
Q. What do you like least about doing research?
A. Failure can be discouraging, at times. Research can oftentimes take a large time commitment, without equivalent returns in results. However, learning to approach problems and setbacks in a novel way is what can be learned!
Q. What are your career goals?
A. Currently, I am a rising junior at UMBC, majoring in Biology and Psychology with a minor in Chemistry. After earning my Bachelor’s degrees, I dream of attending a prestigious dental school!
Q. What advice do you have for students who are trying to get into a research lab/group?
A. My advice would be to reach out! Keep your eyes open for opportunities because there is always something new and different going on at UMBC. There is something interesting for everyone!