Herding a Lab Full of MOFs

June 8, 2017

Over the last few weeks I have faced many challenges head on. I am beginning my third year of research and have been the senior researcher in my lab for the past year. I was very excited to continue my research this summer and focus on the biological applications of Metal Organic Frameworks, MOFs. Unfortunately and/or fortunately, my professor/mentor has been out of the country for the past two weeks, which left myself in charge of the lab.

 

If that isn’t enough of a challenge, three new undergraduate researchers and two high school interns started working in the lab. Due to my professor's absence, I matured as a person and a teacher. I have increased my leadership skills exponentially by teaching five new scientists about research. Training and coaching them through different procedures has definitely tested my patience but their reaction when the product is synthesized correct is all worth it.

 

The last couple weeks have expanded my view on academia after graduate school. I have always had the idea to go into the industrial side of chemistry but after introducing and training five new students I believe I could thrive in academia and thoroughly enjoy it. Though the first two weeks of INBRE has been a tough challenge, I grew as a person, a student and a mentor. Which is exactly what research experience is supposed to be, right? Doing research over the last two years has allowed me to gain a deep understanding for Metal Organic Frameworks. My curiosity has grown as my understanding increased and I have been very curious about the possible biological applications. The INBRE has allowed me to explore the potential benefits MOF could have on biological systems. I am excited to continue my research over the next seven weeks.

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