2009 SRIP Journals
This summer I was in the Neuroscience Department with Dr. Kipnis. I got to do a Golgi Stain. It took so much time to do, but when I looked under the microscope, and saw that it actually came out, I was very excited. I really loved the lab I was in, and the people working there were amazing. They taught me so much, it's unbelievable. I learned a lot about what it's like in Graduate school. The people I worked with in the lab were some of the hardest workers I've met. I also learned that things in lab don't always go your way, even if you want them to, and mistakes do happen. I really liked the research we were doing in lab (the basic idea was how t-cells affected cognition/memory-who knew?). It inspired me to take off two years after my undergrad (before medical school) to do research in a lab hopefully that pertains to Alzheimer Disease. The people I met through the SRIP program were extremely welcoming and I made some really great friends there. I also had the best summer of my life. I met so many new people, experienced different cultures, and got to go many different places. Thank you all so much!
Going into this research program I was on the edge of medical school and graduate school. And I'm going to tell you straight out that I still haven't figured out which side I'm leaning toward. However, what I did find out that changed my prospective of graduate school is the closeness of the students. Every single graduate student or PhD student took their own time out of their busy schedules to answer every last ridiculous question I had. I don't think I can get that feeling with the competition of Med School. I'd like to thank everybody in my lab and SRIP as well for helping me out with this wonderful experience.
This program as a whole was very beneficial. Not only did I learn about my research and the research of the other people in my lab, but I was also strongly influenced by the people around me. Everywhere I walked, I was bound to run into a grad student, a medical student or a doctor, which for me was extremely encouraging. The UVA students were patient enough to listen to my questions about grad school, and provide answers. Also, the doctors were so kind as to allow me to shadow them the 10 weeks I was here at UVA. Another thing I found to be very helpful were the meetings which detailed other areas of research not associated with our lab. We were also given the opportunity to form networks with people who could play a part in our acceptance to graduate school. For all the future SRIP students, I say, make the most of your time here. Even though you’re in SRIP, you’re not bound to the program alone. Make uses of the UVA facilities. The gym is an excellent way to spend your evenings. The library also is very beneficial, with your UVA ID; you have the opportunity sign out books and use the computers. Also with the hospital close-by, there are endless opportunities; shadow a doctor, watch surgery, and most of all do not limit yourself. Be productive!
Having no previous experience working in a lab, I came into this summer not knowing what to expect. What I got was way more than I could have ever imagined. I gained such valuable experience and knowledge about scientific research and how it is conducted. I learned that scientists, although they work very long hours, still have fun and are a great group of people. I loved the lab I was placed in and the research in which I was involved. My mentor was very helpful and taught me a great deal about how to read scientific literature and how to present science to others. Everyone in the lab was very helpful. This summer also introduced me to some really great people from all walks of life. Not only did I learn from my mentor and the graduate students with whom I worked, but I learned a lot from my peers. I have made some strong connections this summer that will be greatly missed when I return home. This summer was a truly great experience and I am so thankful I was chosen to be a part of such a program.
My summer spent with the SRIP program at UVA this summer was amazing! The opportunity to work with and interact with so many talented individuals is one that I greatly appreciate. SRIP is a very diverse program that really focuses on the enrichment and betterment of their participants. This program is one that I would encourage ALL to partake in because it will truly make you a better person, student, and most of all researcher.
SRIP gave me the opportunity to gain valuable lab experience. Before SRIP, I had never worked in a lab, and wanted to use this summer to learn if research was something I wanted to continue with in the future. My mentor, as well as the post-docs and graduate students in my lab, were all extremely helpful throughout the 10-week internship. They were excellent teachers, which was especially important as I was unfamiliar with many of the techniques we used prior to this experience. It was exciting to work on my own project and to contribute data that will be used for future studies. I also enjoyed getting to know the other SRIP students, exploring Charlottesville, and learning about everyone’s research in the presentations at the end of the summer. SRIP has provided me with skills that will be beneficial in the future, whether I decide to pursue medicine or research.
I applied to the UVA SRIP program because I wanted to gain lab experience that would help me attain my goals of going to medical school and becoming a doctor. I got that lab experience and much more. The research project that I got to work on during the summer not only piqued my interest from the moment I started reading background literature, but kept me excited and busy for the duration of my time in the program. I looked forward every morning to going into lab for the day's work, and I often went in after hours to continue my research. Not only did I get the chance to learn and practice procedures that will be very handy for my future, but I got to be part of the thinking process behind the research. I got to be a part of decision making for the course of the project and value that opportunity as well. I also got the chance to meet some amazing people, be it fellow program members or members of my lab, and I hope those friendships last longer than just this summer.
The SRIP program was an invaluable resource as an undergraduate looking to gain insight into the research world. Through the program I was able to experience research from many perspectives, including those of the PhD mentors who gave presentations and who I worked closely with, the graduate students and post-doctoral students who are only a step or two ahead of me on the road to becoming an independent researcher, and my peers, some of whom were experiencing research for the first time, and some of whom, like myself have been performing laboratory research for several years now. The program helped me to realize what is ahead for me in my future, especially that of graduate school. SRIP has only reinforced my desire to become a researcher at a large research institution such as UVa.
SRIP placed me in the environment in which I plan to spend the rest of my life. They afforded me the opportunity to work with scientists on projects that are continuously changing the way we practice medicine. My lab experience has enhanced my scientific knowledge, exposed me to new procedures and equipment, and most importantly encouraged my inquisitive nature. I was given tasks and allowed to formulate my plan of attack, arrange schedules to get them done, and treated like every other scientists in the lab. This opportunity is not easily gained as an undergraduate, thus I greatly appreciated it. SRIP has also graced me with educational benefits outside the laboratory. I was able to learn about areas I knew nothing of and about various paths that I might decide to take my career. This program has helped me realize what role in medicine I hope to play with the aid of speakers from interdisciplinary professions. Lastly, SRIP has linked me with young individuals that share my passion for medicine and research. Their ideas have helped illicit new ideas of my own and their outlook helped guide my path. Their support, through our attempts to figure out life after undergrad, was invaluable.
My research was conducted in the Reddi Lab. In that lab I was able to do things that I never imagined I could do. I learned so much about Spermatogenesis at a molecular level and more. My lab mentor was extremely helpful and encouraging. I believe the people around me really believed in me and did everything in their power to help me blossom as a scientist and student. I am so thankful that a program such as this exists, and only hope that I does so for many years to come.
I experienced the opportunity to work in a lab run by medical doctors and that gave me the insight to see how doctors can relate to the research environment and apply their knowledge to conduct clinical study that can help patients. This experience inspired me and opened new doors to what I want to do as an aspiring medical doctor. I enjoyed this program and the classmates I worked with.
The SRIP program, done right, puts you through the rigors of research comparable to the level a graduate student goes through. Teamwork is essential to be a valuable, contributing member to a lab, and patience is a must. At the end of ten weeks, you should have a very good idea whether or not research is right for you as a career. Overall, the SRIP met my expectations.
My experience at UVa was wonderful. I really liked the people in the lab where I was assigned. I sure had to work hard but I learned so much this summer! I was able to understand what graduate school could look like. Some days are very hard with little results. However, some days are very bright, and a 'one day' result can make up for weeks of trials. This summer reinforced my love for science and my dream to become a neuroscientist. The GRE lessons were also great. What I like the best about the GRE classes is the fact that we can access the materials even after summer.
People were so nice around the campus, I made a lot of new friends. If someone likes nice, green, quiet and affordable living, Charlottesville is the right place to be. They also have very nice, multicultural restaurants (I like to go out to eat food from different countries). The SRIP staff were also very nice and helpful. They provided very useful seminars. I myself particularly enjoyed the round table discussion with the graduate students. My advice to prospective students: make the best out of your summer! First work hard in your lab, then visit other labs on campus. You will be amazed how nice everybody is! Other faculty, even if they are not part of the SRIP program will meet with you if you email, or stop by their lab. I did that, they were very nice and gave me good advice. I sure had a GREAT experience.
Without a doubt, the SRIP program was one of the most impactful experiences of my life. Even though I did not have very much lab experience, I was given the opportunity to try procedures not only for my experiment but also procedures for the other experiments being run in my lab. I was never without support, which meant when I became lost or confused I had someone whom I could ask for help. I gained so much experience and confidence, not just in the lab, but in my everyday life as well. Like most aspects of life, you will get out of this program what you put into it. This does not mean long, grueling hours of work daily without a break. Part of why this program was so amazing was that it allowed me to experience what the life of a researcher would be like. Yes, there were some days that were longer than most, but there were also days off and even the occasional party. Perhaps most important to me, however, was the social aspect of the program. The people in my lab were beyond amazing. More than just being helpful, they became my friends. Another amazing aspect of the program, which I never expected to occur, was the bond I formed with fellow SRIP students. It was with these students that I truly grew as a student, researcher, and as a person. I loved every minute of this experience, and I would gladly do it again in a heartbeat!
On my first day in lab, I already had the assumption that I was going to have a long, boring summer. I wanted to be in a lab that dealt with the genetics of Lupus, but once I got into this lab... I didn't realize how much of basic genetics I did not know. The lab I was in, was heavy on genetics...so whenever my mentor asked me a question, I just felt lost and dumb. As the first week ended and the second week approached, I started learning genetics all over again. This time, I was excited to learn. I was excited because I was actually doing transfections, RNA extraction, reverse transcriptase; the procedures that my genetics class ONLY talked about. The lab was amazing. It was only Dr. Charles Farber (mentor), Ana (lab technician), and myself; so I had one on one treatment. I learned so much during this summer and I actually started to look for graduate schools to go to for research. During this program, I learned that research tends to make people feel stupid, but that's the encouraging thing about it. Martin A. Schwartz Ph.D, UVA Microbiology Department, stated, "if we don't feel stupid it means we're not really trying (The Importance of Stupidity in Scientific Research)." And during this program, I TRIED a lot of new methods and experiments.
I enjoyed every aspect of the Summer Research Internship Program (SRIP ) at the UVa School of Medicine. I studied Hsp90 protein chaperone complex formation as a component in androgen receptor signaling pathways in prostate cancer. Everybody in the lab was very helpful and supportive. In the short period of time, I was exposed to advanced biochemistry beyond the level of a classroom. The weekly SRIP lectures and the close interactions with the graduate students from different departments provided me with an insight into graduate school. In addition, not only is Charlottesville a very attractive academic town, but also there are many attractions within driving distance. I had fun weekends at Virginia beach, the outer banks in North Carolina , and Washington D.C. Because all SRIP students were living on the same floor, we got to know each other very well. Spending this summer in SRIP was a very valuable and broadening experience.