My name is Leydricah Saint Louis. I am double majoring in biochemistry and psychology. This summer I had the amazing opportunity to be a part of the UMass Medical School summer research program and absolutely loved it. I was introduced to the program by Johanna Fitzgerald, the campus coordinator of the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation program (LSAMP).
I worked in the gene therapy center in Dr. Miguel Sena-Esteves’ lab. My project focused on glioblastoma, a brain tumor. I was in lab Monday through Friday from 9 am to 6 pm. I was supervised by Dr. Allison Keeler-Klunk, a post-doc in the lab. I appreciated the fact that neither my PI nor the post-doc ceased to answer my endless questions. They were definitely very helpful in both explaining different concepts to me and teaching me how to run certain experiments. I think that the hardest part of the entire program was putting my poster together and presenting it at the end. Although I struggled with it a little, it all worked out!
Aside from lab, I was able to bond with other students who were also doing the program. We had picnics, days at the beach, etc. It was a good time!
I was amazed by how structured the program was. I was provided with all the information I needed to know about research and was even introduced to different kinds of research through the different set of lectures I was required to attend. This enabled me to connect with many researchers and learn more about what it is like to be a researcher. This program made me fall in love with research and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who would be interested in knowing what it really is like to work in a research setting.