We were fortunate to have several wonderful undergrads, in addition to David, in the lab over the summer. Rising sophomore Huseyin Demir is part of the NU Bioscientist program, which funded his summer research experience. Here’s what he had to say about it:
As a part of the NU Bioscientist program here at Northwestern, I was able to get a summer research grant that aims to introduce and expose freshmen to research in a field of their choice. I had very little lab experience prior to joining the Hartmann Lab, but this grant made it possible for me to do research as a full-time job.
I looked into utilizing a relatively new technique called PMA-qPCR, which uses a DNA binding agent called Propidium Monoazide and qPCR in order to differentiate between the viable and non-viable bacteria in a given sample. I first tested the technique on practice samples to develop a reliable method and then used it to supplement and provide a comparison to PhD student Jinglin Hu’s data in assessing viability of bacteria on surfaces with different paints.
My work in the lab was guided by our technician, Adam Glawe, who familiarized me with the lab techniques I needed to perform this project and provided constant feedback on the data collection and analysis.
I now feel much more comfortable doing research in a lab setting, and I look forward to working with the Hartmann Lab on many more projects during my undergraduate career.