Blog Series: UA Training Preps Student for International Research

University Relations - Communications
Aug. 14, 2014

This is the fourth in a five-part University of Arizona blog series about the University's STEM education initiatives and students conducting research abroad.

UA undergraduate researcher Chelsea Anne Regan, a molecular and cellular biology and business management double major, is taking part in the University's Biomedical Research Abroad: Vistas Open! program. Stationed in Seville, Spain, Regan has shared some of her experiences from abroad.

Q: How did you come to be involved in scientific research?

A: I have been working in Timothy Bolger's (a UA assistant professor of molecular and cellular biology) lab since I was a freshman, and it has been the single most valuable academic endeavor of my undergraduate career. Besides the obvious of learning techniques, I have also learned so much just by having conversations with Bolger. He has really helped me learn how to think critically about what is happening on the molecular level, and he has really made an impact in my knowledge as a molecular biologist. Even now that I am abroad in a new lab, I feel competent and able to quickly understand what is going on because of my past experience.

Q: Can you explain your current research?

A: I am investigating the roles in DEAD-box proteins and their regulators in ribosome biogenesis. DEAD-box proteins are a family of protein that I work on in my lab at the UA. I am hypothesizing that they could be involved in some stage of the ribosome biogenesis process. In order to do this, I am learning the Northern Blot technique as well as green fluorescent protein (GFP) tagging methods.

Q: Why have you taken an interest in DEAD-box proteins?

A: This subject matter greatly interests me because I believe that by doing this fundamental research we can hope to make advances in the scientific and medical communities, as well as society as a whole. Furthermore, most of it is just really cool! It amazes me all the time how many things are going on in our bodies and in the world around us that are out of our control and that we know so little about. It brings perspective and appreciation to my life every day.

Q: What are your plans beyond your studies at the UA?

A: I am very interested in possibly going into the biotechnology industry to breach the gap between the sciences and the best strategies to implement and communicate them in society. Before going into this industry, however, my goal is to obtain a maste'rs degree in molecular and cellular biology, and possibly even a Ph.D.

Read about other UA students conducting research abroad:


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