Peter Krutzik

1. What is your specific area of research (include the name of your faculty and/or laboratory)?
My research has been focused on synthetic Bio-Organic Chemistry developing DNA binding compounds known as polyamides. These molecules are able to target specific sequences of DNA and disrupt the function of genes. The improvement of these compounds may lead to successful anti-cancer therapy in the near future. Dr. Richard Chamberlin's lab has provided a perfect environment, as both chemistry and biology are practiced in the same laboratory.
2. When and how did you first get involved in research?

After taking Organic chemistry labs my second year, I was intrigued by the process and challenges of synthetic chemistry. Looking through the chemistry department's web pages, I found that Dr. Chamberlin's lab was working on chemistry with application to biology, which was always my goal. After emailing Dr. Chamberlin, and speaking to him, I immediately saw that research would be exciting, and it has been ever since.

3. How has research enhanced you education?

Research gives you a feel for the true nature of science. You are no longer reading instructions in a lab manual, but are actually developing your own procedures, and tackling problems with knowledge you have gained elsewhere. Putting what you learn in lecture to use in research is probably its greatest asset.

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

Obtaining results that show that what you have been doing for a month (or more) paid off! Although I say that jokingly, it probably is the greatest thrill of research, to make the advancements that you set out to achieve. But other than the science side, working closely with the Chamberlin lab group members has been a blast. There is never a dull day in the lab, and they have shown me that there needs to be a balance between work and play, that is, you have to enjoy what you are doing.

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

After graduation, I plan on continuing research for another year at UCI and then heading on to graduate school to pursue my Ph.D. in chemistry or biology, or hopefully, a combination thereof. Doing undergraduate research has given me insight into the nuisances, challenges, and successes of research, and has gotten me completely hooked. Not only that, but it has given me a ton of experience in the fields that interest me. Continuing on in graduate school will be much simpler with this experience.

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

Finding someone to work for is quite simple, and you should look for something that really interests you. Doing research just to augment your resume is not worth it, for you or for your mentor. Look through faculty research profiles and web pages, and ask around the department you are looking at, to find out who has space in their research groups and what their specific research is. Don't hesitate, professors are always happy to get you involved!

Past Researchers of the Month

Dec. '99 Gina Rappleye
Nov. '99 Maria Rendon
Oct. '99 Scott Avecilla
Sep. '99 Peter Krutzik
Aug. '99 Raj Gopalakrishnan
Jul. '99 Christina Rahn
Jun. '99 Catharine Larsen
May '99 Han Kang
Apr. '99 Bonnie Pau
Mar. '99 Sharla Meeks
Feb. '99 Simin Bahrami
Jan. '99 Catherine Le
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