Reshmi Basu

1. What is your specific area of research (include the name of your faculty and/or laboratory)?
I work at the Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic in the area of laser-mediated cartilage reshaping under the guidance of Dr. Brian Wong.
2. When and how did you first get involved in research?

I first got involved in research the spring quarter of my freshman year. I knew from before I came to UCI that I wanted to be involved in research, though I wasn’t exactly sure in what specific area. So, when I saw on a flyer that Dr. Wong was looking for a new student, I jumped at the opportunity. I was excited to be able to work with lasers and be exposed to medical research.

3. How has research enhanced you education?

Research has enhanced my education by exposing me extensively to the scientific process. I have much greater admiration and appreciation for all research now that I have had the opportunity to be personally involved in it. I have been able to apply scientific methodology directly, which has allowed me to better understand the mental processes involved in discovering what is presented in textbooks and journals. I have learned that every step can be a challenge when doing research. I recognize that although it can definitely be frustrating, it is nonetheless intellectually stimulating and very satisfying to work through problems. I realized that research has had a large impact on me when I paused while memorizing biology facts one day to think about what a long process it must have been to discover what I was memorizing.

4. What has been you favorite experience with research (include any interesting stories or specific events)?
My favorite part of research is the independence I’ve been given. Dr. Wong guides me though every step and yet he always trusts me to think for myself. I have had the opportunity to perform experiments with complex setups, which required precisely aligning lasers and learning how to use many instruments. The sense of accomplishment after the experiments were done is indescribable, especially since I was able to do so much of the work myself.
5. What are your future plans and how has being involved in research helped to prepare you to meet your goals?

I hope to attend medical school. Research has helped prepare me to meet this goal by enhancing my knowledge of biotechnology. Technology in the field of medicine is growing rapidly and I believe that exposure to and understanding of how this technology works can make me a better doctor, even if I don’t specifically use laser surgery in the future. Also, research has allowed me to develop my critical thinking skills and has given me the chance to meet several medical students, residents, and doctors. Talking to them has given me a better perspective on what a medical career involves.

6. What advice would you give to a student interested in pursuing a faculty-mentored undergraduate research project or creative activity?

Don’t be discouraged if you can’t find a research position right away. It’s better to take your time and find research that really interests you. Use all the resources available to you, including UROP, and you’re sure to find a lab that you’re excited to work in.

Past Researchers of the Month

Dec. '01 Anna Kaiser
Nov. '01 Sunny Staton
Oct. '01 Kristine Kolkman
Sep. '01 Raquel Fernandez
Aug. '01 Temre Davies
Jul. '01 Krikor Andonian
Jun. '01 Elizabeth Kirchner
May '01 Joshua Neil
Apr. '01 Alia Shbeeb
Mar. '01 Qyana Griffith
Feb. '01 Reshmi Basu
Jan. '01 Yousuke Hamai
Recent Year