This summer, Biochemistry major Kat Neal ’23 is getting real-world research experience through the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Tufts University. The Building Diversity in Biomedical Sciences program offers a ten week, mentored research experience for students interested in pursuing future PhD or MD/PhD studies.
Neal was excited to be one of 20 students accepted to the competitive BDBS program, in which she was assigned to work with a graduate student mentor on research in Dr. Ralph Isberg’s Microbiology lab.
“I’m currently working on analyzing interactions between Yersinia bacteria and host cells when certain genes are knocked down. The program is virtual this year, so I mainly do data analysis. On a typical day, my mentor sends me microscope images and I analyze them using a program called ImageJ. Then I put that data into spreadsheets and create graphs so we can identify trends.”
Neal hopes this experience in the BDBS program, along with the foundation she’s gained in the classroom at Curry, will help her in her future career.
“I’m learning a lot while also applying previous knowledge in a new way. What I learned in Genetics and Microbiology at Curry has helped me to understand the terminology, equipment, and techniques used for this project. Thank you so much to Dr. Walker, Dr. Nowicki, and Dr. Wade for helping me get to where I am!”
After Curry, Neal hopes to pursue a Ph.D. and work in the biotech industry in Boston.