Roanoke College student presents research at the Experimental Biology conference in Boston

by Marcus Stewart on January 30, 2016

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Nicholas Wright, a senior at Roanoke College, presented at the Experimental Biology conference in Boston in March of 2015. Nick’s project focused on understanding the amino acids responsible for binding interactions occurring between two subunits of a protein complex in the bacteria that causes tuberculosis. The project was a collaboration between the Roanoke College Chemistry department and the Department of Integrated Science and Technology at James Madison University. He decided to do research at Roanoke as soon as he found a research project he was interested in.
Nick really appreciated the ability to work with a professor while conducting research.

“Working with my advisor, Dr. Tim Johann, is a great experience. I always feel welcome to talk about an experiment, preparations in lab, techniques, etc. Having worked in labs elsewhere, this is something that is unique and special at Roanoke. In many labs you may rarely see the faculty principle investigator.”

Nick found that presenting can be one of the most challenging components of conducting research.

“You always have to know your audience and remember that the audience does not have the same level of understanding of the project as you do. Communicating science is the most important part of doing research, so it is critical that you prepare for presentations of your work.”

Despite the challenges, Nick still encourages getting involved as soon as possible.

“Research isn’t for everyone, but if you are interested in research and it turns out that you enjoy it, the earlier to start the better. Graduate programs value experience and competency very highly.”

Nick spent the Summer of 2015 doing research at the Scripps Institute, Florida and will be interviewing for graduate programs this spring.

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