Axons Final Summary

I’m back on campus now and starting my next to last semester at William and Mary. It’s a pretty bittersweet time, and I’m grateful that I got to spend so much of my summer here as well.

I have absolutely loved biology research; it’s fascinating, challenging, and rewarding. I pursued the opportunity because I was curious but I never thought that I would like it this much. I hope that I can stay involved in research, whether life takes me to medical school or graduate school. It didn’t hurt that I got to practice having a full-time job and cooking for myself over the summer, either.

My fellow lab members and I made a lot of progress on SARM knockout in zebra finch neurons. We made the viruses we need, optimized many steps in the pipeline, and became much more familiar with the techniques and equipment we use. I’ve hammered out a protocol for us to try this coming year in order to get SARM knockout finches if our experiment replicates with neurons in vitro show promise. I can’t wait to build on the work that we did this summer.

Before signing off for good, I need to thank the Charles Center for my funding this summer; Karen Clark for her awesome work on the virus and HEK cells; Harsha Malapati for his molecular and sequencing work; and Dr. Buchser for his invaluable guidance, patience, and mentoring. It’s been a great summer and I’ll never forget it!


  1. acadbyspicer says:

    Research is so great it is so lucky that William and Mary makes it possible for students to do as undergraduates, but it seems especially apparent that you really got the most out of it that you could! What are your goals for the end of the school year that you will be working towards as a Senior? Has this research influenced what you want to do after graduation?

  2. My goals for research (if that’s what you meant) are to get started on generating a line of SARM knockout zebra finches and to get a paper published. My goals in general for senior year are to survive the MCAT and enjoy my last months here.
    Working in Dr. Buchser’s lab has definitely influenced what I want to do! I’m still pre-med, but I want to stay involved in research no matter what I end up doing.