Wednesday, December 10, 2014

About research proposals: thoughts following the last day of lab.

Working on the proposal was, ultimately, a really great experience. The first part- coming up with a novel research proposal, we discovered, was somewhat challenging. On the bright side, we ended up learning quite a lot! Not only regarding the topic that we decided to research into, but also other current and relevant fields of biology.

Though we began with an idea to utilize hydrogels to deliver a compound to treat anaphylactic shock, we ended up deciding to load these gels with histatins (small peptides that have therapeutic properties) just this Saturday, with a little period in between when we were considering changing our idea to something about utilizing Geobacter bioremediation to remove the presence of organophosphorus compounds (in short, tackling pesticide pollution- also a really cool topic!). For me, the most challenging part perhaps resided the most in determining how to go about presenting this really cool research idea in a way that would make logical sense to the audience. My thoughts sometimes go on tangents, here was when working in a team really helped (a shoutout to my awesome lab partner :-P) to organize our powerpoint in a cohesive manner. I think making flowcharts and using visual cues (eg. highlighting) also really helped to get our idea across. Admittedly, at one point during the presentation I ended up drawing a blank (which sometimes happens when I get too excited), but somehow (hopefully!) managed to convey the points we were aiming for. It was also great to listen to all the other presentations on Tuesday; each team’s research ideas, to me, felt really new. It was pretty clear everyone enjoyed the research topics they focused on, and that in itself is something one can tell just by the detail and scope of the presentations.

I really learned a ton of things from the modules we've went through, and enjoyed having someone to collaborate and discuss ideas with throughout the semester. Now that the research proposal is complete, I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s celebration. :-) 

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