By | Kidist Zewdie ’14
“The students were actually designing experiments…I was hooked.”
My roommate, a student researcher, brought me to my first lab meeting with biology professor Devavani Chatterjea so I could learn more about opportunities in her lab. It looked like a graduate-level research lab. The students were actually designing experiments, generating and analyzing data, and contributing to manuscripts for publication. I was hooked. On the spot, I asked Professor Chatterjea if I could join her lab group.
In the Chatterjea lab each student’s research project contributes to a more general goal: examining the role of the immune system in various diseases. Currently we are looking for possible causes of vulvodynia, a chronic pain condition suffered by up to 1 in 7 women. Our goal is to model the disease in animals in order to understand the underlying molecular mechanisms. My role focuses on performing behavioral and enzymatic assays on our samples.
I prepared for working in the lab by taking Professor Chatterjea’s course Research in Immunology. Once in the lab, more experienced students helped me learn techniques, recommended papers for me to read, and worked with me to analyze data. When I had questions, Professor Chatterjea was always available.
Like any scientist, I am most challenged when I get a data set that doesn’t look exactly the way I want it to. When someone in the lab gets agorgeous set of data, we celebrate.
I’m a senior now and after Macalester I plan to enter a graduate program in pharmacology or another field related to health care.
October 30 2013Back to top
More Academics News
Tales of a Baby Dinosaur
Groundbreaking research on baby dinosaur bones tells us about the early life of giant sauropods who walked the earth 67 million years ago.
April 21 2016
Global Citizenship Awards 2016
Three Macalester seniors honored for their commitment to international service.
April 18 2016
April 15 2016
Making Math Beautiful
Applied mathematician and professional sculptor George Hart helped Macalester see the beauty in mathematical thinking.
March 30 2016
Networking in D.C.
Through MacConnect DC, Joe Klein spent his spring break networking and talking about careers with Macalester alumni in Washington, D.C.
March 28 2016
From Intern to Employee
With the support of the Macalester network, Haroon Bokhari '16 landed an investment banking job at Wells Fargo.
March 28 2016
Intimidated by Data? Mac Meets You Where You Are
Handling complex data is essential in almost every field. At Macalester you can successfully learn data science from any starting point.
March 23 2016
Students visited Minnesota's Iron Range and found lessons relevant to their study of Mongolia.
March 21 2016
Psychology class creates health ad campaigns directed at their fellow students.
March 16 2016
Macalester students help preserve the memories of Rondo, a historically Black neighborhood in St. Paul.
March 14 2016
Five students present academic findings at the Museum of Russian Art.
March 14 2016
O’n’E , a devised work by Nora Spellane '16, is based on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.
March 9 2016