Becoming A Part of the Scientific Community

November 07, 2018
Brandon Tran ’19 Biology Major
  • Brandon Tran '19 

As a research student in Dr. Ann Aguanno’s laboratory, I’ve been given the opportunity to learn and enhance different skills and research techniques in the cell culture field. I have to put in a continuous effort to improve and learn new material on different research projects I have been assigned. One project that I worked on was a study of mouse mammary tumor cells as a model for breast cancer cells and how these cells react to different anti-proliferative agents. The hard work and persistence I have gained while conducting research has given me the opportunity to attend various conferences to present my research.

Presenting research on topics that I have worked on for such a long-time is such an exciting experience. The first time I presented my research was in New Jersey at William Paterson University’s Undergraduate Research Symposium. This symposium prepared me to take my research across the country to San Diego, California. My research team flew to the west coast in order to present our research at a nationally acclaimed Experimental Biology meeting where researchers from all different backgrounds and levels of experience come to share discoveries and projects, and to network.

At this meeting, I was not only able to present my research to an array of scientists from all around the country– and even some who came from different parts of the world, but I was also able to attend different talks and events, and to network with some of the vendors which provide our laboratory at MMC with the different instruments that we use in our research projects. I was also able to learn about research projects that other undergraduates were conducting.

A talk that I had the privilege of attending was led by Feng Zhang. During this talk my research colleagues and I were able to learn about the monumental gene editing technology, known as CRISPR. The few days spent in San Diego were eye-opening and filled with endless knowledge and opportunity.

Further, being able to conduct research as an undergraduate student has allowed me to go places, network, and learn with my science colleagues from various institutions. I am grateful for the chance to learn science from experience rather than just by text. The next Experimental Biology conference is coming up this spring (’19) and I hope that my research team is able to attend again– this time in Orlando, Florida.