Since October 2019, I’ve performed undergraduate research in Dr. Helferich’s Lab, earning credit for FSHN 295. During my time in the lab, I’ve gained practical knowledge extremely important to food scientists ranging from the handling of mouse tissue all the way to conducting proper protein assays.
As a freshman, I initially wasn’t sure if I wanted to get into research, as I found the idea of it intimidating. My interest was piqued, however, when my TA for ACES 101, Emely Lopez-Barrera, told my class about her work with food fortification and protein nanofibrils in Dr. Helferich’s lab. After some further investigation into Ms. Lopez-Barrera’s work, I sent an email expressing my interest in conducting research with her. I almost immediately thereafter began to work in the lab, where I was completely accommodated by Ms. Lopez Barrera, Dr. Helferich, and other graduate students. They were quick to explain proper lab procedure, guide me through tasks which were new to me, and make me feel welcome.
Each day that I help perform research, I feel my confidence in my own scientific abilities grow. Although some find the idea of starting research as a freshman unnecessary, I have no regrets working on something I find truly interesting, all the while gaining knowledge and skills to build my future as a food scientist.