Leigh Ann Tumblin,
Senior, Chemical and Biomolecular engineering
Athens, OH 18 October 2015 –
Now that we are more than halfway through the fall semester, our engineering classes are becoming more challenging, but also more interesting and exciting. One course I am taking this semester is Applied Cellular and Molecular Biology, which is a chemical engineering class. Biology concepts have never been my strong suit, but I am really enjoying this class and all the things I am learning in it.
In this class, we are learning about things such as the fluid behavior of blood, immunology, diagnostic and therapeutic techniques, and flow cytometry, just to name a few topics. One of the main purposes of the class is to apply basic biology and biomedical concepts in learning how to develop large scale processes to produce the much needed diagnostics and therapeutics that keep us healthy.
My favorite part about the class is that we get to conduct a flow cytometry experiment in the research lab of our professor. Flow cytometry helps characterize the size and complexity of cells, and can be used to determine if cancer cells are present or not.
I’m really glad I decided to take this course because it gave me a perspective on medicine that I never would have had otherwise. I also enjoyed the fact that it pushed me outside of my comfort zone and allowed me to learn new things.
Senior, Mechanical Engineering
Athens, OH dd Month 2014 – Thinking about graduation is becoming all more frequent and all more real. I can’t believe that it is just a few weeks away. My plan for after graduation is to continue onto graduate school and study Biomedical Engineering. Prior to starting graduate school, I have a summer internship in Maine working at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. I am very excited about both my internship and attending graduate school. The two fields are very different from one another, but I feel like they will both present me with a unique challenge and keep me very engaged, so I look forward to each of them!
Making a decision between getting a job right after graduating and going straight to graduate school as a very tough decision, and one that took me a very long time to make. I went to a job interview after being accepted to graduate school, and the benefits and stability seemed so enticing. But, after thinking it over and talking with a lot of different people all with conflicting opinions, I realized that what I ultimately want to do with my life is help people. The field of Biomedical Engineering is the best avenue I can think of to do that, and graduate school is the first step in doing so. After finally making this big decision, I am very happy to have the stress of not knowing what I will be doing next year off of my shoulders!
Junior, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Athens, OH 11 November 2013 – The spring semester of my sophomore year I applied through my Advisor for an Undergraduate Research Assistant position in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department. I had the privilege of being hired under
Dr. Monica Burdick to help in her cancer therapeutics and diagnostics research. Currently I help with one of her projects in collaboration with two other researchers at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. The research concerns identification of proteins that target specific ligands on breast cancer cells. Ultimately the research would be used to detect and or combat early metastasis, the spread, of breast cancer cells.
This great position, provided by federal funding Dr. Burdick received for research, has given me the opportunity to learn a great deal about standard experiments and procedures used in research and the industry today for biomedical and biomolecular engineering. I will someday be able to take this knowledge and experience into a co-op or my first job after graduation. It has also given me a chance to not only learn from Dr. Burdick, but also her graduate students and other undergraduate students. I feel it has also helped me to apply the knowledge from research to my classes and vice versa.
Undergraduate research is a fantastic way for students to get involved and gain valuable experience in a field while still taking classes.
Junior, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Athens, OH 22 October 2012 – Last year I decided to pursue undergraduate research opportunities to help me narrow down what I want to one day do in my career. Many students look for co-ops and internships in order to gain relevant experience before graduation, but undergraduate research is also an excellent way to gain experience during the school year. At Ohio University and the Russ College, many professors are willing to employ undergraduate students in their labs. I am lucky to have had the chance to work in two very different labs, each with their own unique
During my sophomore year I held a position in Dr. Monica Burdick’s biomolecular engineering lab, which is located in the Academic and Research Center (ARC). Her research includes the adhesion of tumor cells and metastasis of cancer. I worked in Dr. Burdick’s lab for my entire sophomore year, and at the end I presented my research at the university-wide Research and Creativity Expo. This year, I switched labs and am currently working in the Sustainable Energy and Advanced Materials (SEAM) lab with Dr. KB Lee. His research is focused on polymers and alternative energy.
Through these lab positions, I have the chance to apply the science and engineering principles from my classes, which helps me to better understand what I am being taught. I have learned how to use a diverse range of machinery and equipment. Also, I have met many graduate students, and they are all very willing to help the undergraduates and answer any questions, whether they are about the lab or just school in general.
Research may not be the right fit for everyone, but I really enjoy it. I like learning outside of the traditional classroom setting.