#8 - Gabriella Lott and Quinlen Marshall, “A Novel Synthetic Procedure and In-Silico Analysis of Azo-Dye Coupled Inhibitors of Low Molecular Weight Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase

Advisor: 

Dr. Edward McIntee and Dr. Henry Jakubowski, Chemistry

What inspired you to select your research or creative work topic? 

Quinlen: "Since my sophomore year, I have been drawn to scientific research due to its self-propagating nature in which one question leads to further questions. This is especially true for research that involves human biology, as a human body is a complex, ever-changing system that we learn more about every day. This research hones in on a small yet vitally important facet of human biology that has gone awry: cancer. My research interests lie within the intersections of human health and disease, and the topic of our project fits well into that paradigm. In addition, it allows me to use chemistry and biochemistry skills and knowledge I have obtained over the past four years in a real-world application outside of the classroom."

Gabriella: "As a first year, I was curious about research but unsure of how I could pursue it in a way that was meaningful to me. I remember reading the research synopses of multiple professors in the chemistry department and being drawn to Dr. McIntee’s research due to its connection to biochemistry and medicine. I reached out to him and was lucky enough to be offered a position in the 2019 Summer Undergraduate Chemistry Research Program where I first began this project. This research has been a way for me to combine my love of chemistry and biology with my interest in medicine, and it has inspired me to continue integrating research into my career as a future physician."

Which of CSB/SJU's five learning goals applies to your experience conducting research?

Quinlen: "The CSB/SJU learning goal "Live Courageously" challenges students to elicit resilience in the face of obstacles. Pursuing this project, in addition to other research opportunities I have been presented with over the past four years, has been instrumental in the development of my steadfastness I now bring to challenges I encounter. Scientific research rarely results in the outcome expected and often requires multiple approaches before an outcome is produced. I cannot overstate the numbers of times I left frustrated and discouraged while pursuing this and other projects, yet I always knew I had to try again and would eventually reach my goal. This adage relates to much more than a research project as well, and I am blessed to have experienced it through this work, looking back."

Gabriella: "CSB/SJU’s learning goal “Think Deeply” relates to my research project because through the experience I have advanced my critical thinking skills and managed cognitive complexity. My research experience has taught me how to collect and analyze data, think creatively when problem-solving, and the importance of good communication. It has taught me that the vast interconnectivity of the human body excites me, research is something I would like to pursue in my future, and above all it has prepared me to think critically, creatively, and with complexity when addressing significant questions."

What advice would you give to future CSB/SJU students that want to participate in undergraduate research or creative work? 

Quinlen: "The past two summers I have been fortunate to pursue summer medical research internships at a nationally-recognized children's hospital and a large academic medical center. Both summers there were other students from very well-known colleges and research-intensive universities around the United States in my program with me. Many of these students had already conducted biomedical research in labs, and it was intimidating to be placed on the same level as them. Despite this, I quickly found that CSB/SJU had equipped me with the tenacity and courage to learn quickly, and little time I felt comfortable enough to know that I did belong. Students from CSB/SJU should never set themselves back, as our institutions prepare you with the tools to succeed and thrive in the best research environments around the world."

Gabriella: "Think about what you are interested in and reach out to your professors! Ultimately it comes down to communication. There are so many opportunities to conduct research or creative work, including summer research internships or academic research during the school year."