Laboratory Technician, The Sia Lab
You work in a lab. What are you currently researching?
I have multiple projects currently going on, although overall I research mitochondrial genome stability. The current projects cover mitochondrial DNA repair mechanisms and the effect mitochondrial dynamics have on the mitochondrial genome.
What was it that originally sparked your interest in Biology?
To be honest, in high school my least favorite subject was Biology. Through high school and my first two years of college I studied engineering and did very well in it, but my second year in college I decided to give an introductory biology course a try. I found almost all aspects of biology interesting and knew I wanted to pursue it, but what really sparked my interest and what has led me to where I am today was taking Recombinant DNA Lab at SUNY Brockport which was a lab course that covered molecular biology techniques with a semester long project. I enjoyed the course so much that I asked the instructor, Dr Rey Sia, to join his lab as an undergraduate, and continued on as a graduate student in his lab.
What do you enjoy most about working here at the U of R?
I enjoy the people I work with and the opportunities I am given working here. I have made a lot of good friends I see on a daily basis and I get along well with the people in my lab. Dr Elaine Sia has particularly made working here a very good experience in that she has supported and let me pursue ideas I have had for research.
What’s the most important thing that you’ve learned working here and/or studying Biology?
Both working here and studying biology in general, I have learned to take advantage of all of the opportunities to make myself better at what I do. Taking the opportunity to do research when I was in school and to continue it now has taught about what is expected of me, and how to constantly improve myself, which I strongly believe is necessary in biology. Particularly here at U of R, going to the donut talks and the graduate student seminars have helped me to expand my knowledge beyond what I generally study.
How do you unwind when you’re not in the lab?
I go to lab to unwind. However, when I am not in lab it really depends on the season. In the winter or when it is cold outside I go to the movies often, at least once a week. When it is warm, I enjoy being outside and will hike or kayak whenever I can.