Meet Daniel Newport, a senior biology major. Last summer, Daniel conducted research at PUC. He plans to attend graduate school at CSU East Bay for a master’s degree in cell and molecular biology.
Tell us about your research.
I formulated and implemented a lifespan assay on Caenorhabditis elegans by exposing them to glucose, which shortens their lifespan. The goal of the study was to measure the effectiveness of the compound chlorogenic acid, an inhibitor of glucose absorption, in attenuating the effects of glucose on lifespan.
What did you learn during your research?
I learned there is an immense amount of reading required in order to understand the basics of a topic, let alone enough obtain information to formulate an entire experiment. I had to read a handful of papers just to verify the correct volume of one reagent in my media. However, the process was extremely fun, because you gain so much information on cellular processes, common statistical methods, and cutting edge research in published journals. After a while you learn what questions haven’t been answered, and you begin thinking about how you can answer those questions yourself! Research can be long and tough, but implementing critical thought, controlling an experiment, and studying life was exhilarating.
How did PUC help prepare you for this experience?
Classes like Cell and Molecular Biology and Systems Physiology equipped me with a basic, yet cohesive understanding of cell, tissue, and organ mechanics I found invaluable. This gave me a hunger for more information on cell systems, and led me to ask serious questions to Drs. Wyrick and Sung. They were consistently available for ideas and help honing in on research topics; the magnum opus of the department of biology is the care and interest professors like Wyrick and Sung provide to students.
To learn more about biology at PUC, visit the department of biology website.