believe that genuine curiosity and tenacity which come only through earnest
passion are foundational to research and lead to major advancement in science
by inspiring innovation. As a member of the diverse scientific community at Columbia,
I am eager to train at the frontiers of science where I can use the latest
technology to solve the classic problems in Biology.
During my Masters in
Biotechnology at Columbia University, I covered major areas of Biology
including cell and cancer biology, genetics and physiology. Through this
coursework, I was introduced to the research on protein mechanics and cellular
mechanotransduction. After completing my Masters, I further pursued this
research interest while working as a research assistant in Dr. Michael Sheetz'
Lab. My project in the Sheetz lab was to observe the mechanical-induced
stretching of GFP-mCherry labeled Focal adhesion Kinase - a cell adhesion
protein - using live-cell super-resolution Total Internal Reflection
Fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy. For the data analysis, I used a new super-resolution
technique called Bayesian Analysis of bleaching and blinking (3B) which
resolves the positions of individual fluorophores within as little as 30 nm.
This project not only trained me in the fast-evolving field of live cell
super-resolution microscopy but also gave me a hands-on experience in
standardizing a new technique such as 3B to analyze the experimental data by
carefully setting up parameters and designing better controls to obtain
reliable and reproducible results.
As a graduate student at
Columbia, I wish to further my knowledge and training to study the mechanics of
individual proteins - especially molecular motors - in real time at the level
of a single molecule to capture the ‘intermediates' that may elude us in static
bulk studies. At the same time, having observed the plethora of research
conducted in the labs here, I am keen to explore different areas in Biology
with an open mind.