Microbiology major and Epidemiology minor
Class of 2022
Q: How would you summarize your summer research?
Kat: My summer research entails the use of plaque assays to monitor the growth of mutated virus strains over time in order to understand more about the TF protein. To monitor growth, I inserted a fluorescent protein into the viral genome that will be expressed as the virus replication cycle goes on.
Q: What inspired you to get involved in this research?
Kat: I was inspired to get involved in this research after learning more about viruses in the virology lecture I took this year. I became absolutely fascinated with these organisms and recognized how strong of an interest I had in the techniques used to study them. There’s so much more to learn as well, so there’s also a lot of work to be done in this research area.
Q: What’s been your biggest lesson learned so far?
Kat: The biggest lesson I’ve learned so far is that research is about perseverance. Experiments often don’t work the first time or even the fourth time, so you have to be willing to redo something multiple times. Even if you seemingly lost time to whatever didn’t work, you’ll always still learn something from it so the time wasn’t completely lost.
Q: What are your hopes and dreams for the future and how has this research experience helped shape those goals?
Kat: After finishing my bachelor’s degree in the spring, I plan to attend graduate school to earn a PhD in Microbiology. I hope to someday have a position as a faculty researcher at a university so that my career stays in the realm of academia. This research has helped shape these goals by providing opportunities for networking, hands on experience conducting research at an academic institution, and to hear about the experiences from graduate students and research faculty.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about Bloomington in the summer?
Kat: My favorite thing about Bloomington in the summer is getting to experience the town without the larger crowd of college students that’s here during the school year.