Gopi Manthrapagada

1. What is your specific area of research (include the name of your faculty and/or laboratory)?
My specific area of research is cell biology, although a significant aspect of my work involved fluorescent microscopy and lasers. I worked under Dr. Vickie LaMorte at the Beckman Laser Institute.
2. When and how did you first get involved in research?

I used the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) website as my source of information for research mentors at the beginning of my sophomore year. Although initially I was interested in several labs, I chose Dr. LaMorte's based on the recommendation of a friend. I began work in her lab during the spring quarter of my second year.

3. How has research enhanced you education?

Research has enhanced my education in numerous ways. I've been made aware of the limitless scope of research, and the potential impact it can have on everyday life. Further, my work in the lab has facilitated my understanding of various concepts in class, ranging from immunohistochemistry to the mechanisms of cell death.

4. What has been you favorite experience with research (include any interesting stories or specific events)?

At the urging of my professor and with the support of UROP, I attended the Annual American Cancer Research Meeting in San Francisco. It was a unique experience where I was made aware of the most recent, cutting-edge advances in the understanding and treatment of cancer. Being able to follow and understand some of the seminars made the experience that much more rewarding.

5. What are your future plans and how has being involved in research helped to prepare you to meet your goals?

Next year, I will be attending medical school at Northwestern University, and hope to pursue a career in clinical medicine. However, my undergraduate research experience has made me realize the importance of research and its potential impact on the evolution of medicine. Therefore, in addition to a clinical practice, I hope to be involved with medical research.

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

The addition of research to my curriculum gave me a well-rounded and complete undergraduate academic experience. Research experiences tend to vary, however, which makes it important to find the right mentor and the right field of research. Find a field you are interested in, and talk to professors about what you expect to gain from research and what their expectations are of you as a student. Once you find the right situation, go ahead and get started! I'm sure you'll find it as rewarding as I did.

Past Researchers of the Month

Dec. '00 Chris Gothard
Nov. '00 Kristoffer Nicolaisen
Oct. '00 Bryan Sommerse
Sep. '00 Ryan Stafford
Aug. '00 Carol Chao
Jul. '00 Gopi Manthrapagada
Jun. '00 Heather Smith
May '00 Pany Tehrani
Apr. '00 Kirsten Cappel
Mar. '00 Shelly Brown-Riddle
Feb. '00 Nader Nassif
Jan. '00 Rebecca Kanter
Recent Year