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Emma Duge ’20 researches climate change impacts on ecology at UC Santa Barbara

By Chelsea Lehmann on April 17, 2019

I was given the opportunity this summer to perform research at The Young Lab at the University of California, Santa Barbara, a lab focusing on community ecology and conservation biology. I was tasked with leading a new experiment on tick survivorship and how it is influenced by global warming. As the lead undergraduate researcher, I developed the general experimental methodology, constructed the experimental infrastructure, and collected and analyzed obtained data. Additionally, I lead field installations and deployment of tick units each weekend at UCSBs experimental research sites at Tejon Ranch.

I experienced all of the frustrations and joys of conducting my own research project; I have learned that failures are inevitable when performing research. However, I also found that learning from failure will often lead to success, as was the case for me. This experience allowed me to develop invaluable research skills as well as my appreciation and respect for the field. Moving forward, I am excited to write about and hopefully publish my findings by next summer; I had never dreamed of being a published author before I had this opportunity, and I am so grateful for that. I also plan to return to UCSB and present my research findings at a conference next summer.

John Bennett ’19 interns at the National Institutes of Health

By Chelsea Lehmann on April 10, 2019

This summer I worked in the lab of Dr. Ken Jacobson in the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

The lab studies the structure-activity relationship of G-protein coupled receptors and small molecules. In this, I was tasked with the synthesis of various new drugs to work as antagonists against a specific type of receptor. The receptor I worked on has been implicated in the inflammatory response in relation to asthma as well as certain types of liver diseases and cancers. Through my work, we were able to add to the library of known compounds that antagonize this receptor and help elucidate leads for better treatments of these diseases.

At this experience I was able to further develop my abilities as a chemist, learning new ways to troubleshoot and problem solve. I was able to experience the environment of a large academic lab as well as work alongside accomplished scientists and postdocs who were able to guide me through my project. In the future, I hope to continue as a professor of chemistry.

From Liberal Arts to Entrepreneurship: Colgate Grads Talk Innovation and Leadership

By Contributing Writer on March 5, 2019

Carin Rollins ’94 and John Marlow ’90 are two Colgate graduates who are rapidly becoming household names in biotech. Both were invited back to Colgate on February 11, 2019 to speak about their experiences as innovators and industry leaders. The event, “How Liberal Arts Grads are Driving Innovation”, was co-sponsored by Career Services, Thought Into Action, Colgate’s Biology department, Neuroscience program, and the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.

Rollins is CEO and co-founder of Hinge Bio. Inc, a California-based biotechnology startup putting multimillion-dollar pharmaceutical innovations on the market. Marlow is co-founder and senior vice president of RingCentral, a cloud-based telecommunications company that boasts 4,500 employees and offices on four continents. Marlow also serves as legal director of Brainsonix, an ultrasound-based brain mapping system intended for faster and less invasive surgery and treatment.

RingCentral was among the first corporations to design wireless, centralized communication systems, intended to break away from the clunky, on-site phone boxes used by many corporations when the company was founded in 2003. Today, they’re the largest business communications provider in the world, and still growing rapidly as many businesses modernize their systems.

John Marlow ’90 (left) and Carin Rollins ’94 (right)

“Innovation, to me, is a way of thinking,” Marlow said. “We just replaced hardware with software, and that was a big thing.”

Rollins agreed. “You have to show that a prototype is working—that the market is pulling for your product,” Rollins said. “Otherwise you won’t go anywhere.”

Both Marlow and Rollins admitted that being an innovator and entrepreneur demands a tremendous amount of work—and some luck. Marlow used his own experience as evidence.

While seeking out funding for RingCentral in 2003, he was rejected by hundreds of investors during formal meetings. But he happened to run into a Class-A investor at a bar. That individual “instantly got it,” Marlow said, and agreed to fund the project. That support led to a second top-level firm investing as well. While it wouldn’t have been possible without a functional product, the amount of painful luck was, according to Marlow, “undeniable.”

Rollins also reflected on her experience at Colgate during the seminar. “The skills I learned in the liberal arts gave me the skills I needed to succeed,” Rollins said. “It’s how I am able to wear so many different hats as a CEO and entrepreneur. I wouldn’t be where I am without Colgate.”

Robert Sasse ’19 interns at Brown University Physics Department

By Contributing Writer on January 9, 2018

Robert Sasse '19

This summer I worked with Valles Labs in the Physics Department at Brown University. I researched force sensing capabilities of Paramecium Caudatum, a type of single celled organism found in places like fresh water ponds. I was responsible for creating cell cultures and subcultures as well as collecting cells to experiment on. I designed and ran the experiments. This involved assembling a tube structure to place the cells in, rewiring an electronic device to increase its utility, and setting up microscope cameras to using for recording data. After collecting data, I wrote several programs in Matlab to analyze it. Then, I summarized my findings. Apart from my hands-on work, I also spent a lot of time reading academic articles about experiments other biophysicists had done using paramecium. I used the information from what I had read to help me focus my own experiments.

Taylor Mooney ’17 Interns at the National Aquarium

By Contributing Writer on December 9, 2015

Taylor Mooney '17 learns about Visual Production in Baltimore

Taylor Mooney ’17 learns about Visual Production in Baltimore.

This summer, I worked in the Visual Productions department at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland. The National Aquarium is a non-profit public aquarium that provides an opportunity to connect with the life that lives underwater, both in the oceans and the local harbors. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first accepted the position, but not even six hours after I arrived in Baltimore I realized that I was going to have an incredible experience. The night before my first day I received an email that said I would be helping to film sea turtles the Aquarium was rehabilitating the morning of the first day, and soon after that I was told I’d be going on a four day trip to Delaware to help film an educational camp the Aquarium provided to inner-city kids. Later, I helped to take photographs at a turtle surgery–I didn’t even know those happened. This isn’t even including all of the experience I gained with filming equipment and editing software. I had no idea how accommodating and incredibly helpful my mentors would be. My mentors hadn’t met me yet and I was already being offered these mind-blowing opportunities. This internship was invaluable to me, and initially, I wasn’t even going to apply. I didn’t feel like I had enough experience, nor was I completely comfortable living in an unfamiliar city. So, one of the most important things I learned was to just take a risk–maybe you’ll get a turtle surgery out of it.

Victoria Hymel ’16 Interns at African Impact

By Contributing Writer on December 9, 2015

Victoria Hymel '16 researched animal behavior in South Africa

Victoria Hymel ’16 researched animal behavior in South Africa.

This summer, I was lucky enough to spend three weeks as a research volunteer on African Impact’s South African wildlife research and conservation project. Since I eventually want to conduct my own animal behavior research with African mammals, this experience was the perfect lead-in to this kind of career. One of my most memorable days on the project was a conservation morning. On these days, we would spend a few hours doing physical work to improve the game reserve. This particular day was only my second one on the project, so I was still learning a lot. We were doing bush clearing, which basically meant removing thorny plants from the road with machetes. Never in my life have I wielded such a weapon, so that in itself was an experience. After about an hour and half, we were all very sweaty and sore. The drivers were moving the cars up when we heard a branch snap a few hundred meters to our left. After craning our necks, we finally saw that it was one of the reserve’s Southern white rhinos! It was one thing to see these impressive animals from the cars, but since we were all on foot with nothing but our machetes, it was both exhilarating and terrifying. We had to immediately get in the game drivers, but it was a moment I will never forget.

Elizabeth Souter ’16 Interns at the University of Colorado Medical Campus

By Contributing Writer on December 6, 2015

Elizabeth Souter '16 researched neuroimmmunology/MS in Denver, Colorado

Elizabeth Souter ’16 researched neuroimmmunology/MS in Denver, Colorado.

I worked as a student intern in the Neuroimmunology/MS subdivision of the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus. On my first day, I was given the chance to oversee the data management from a three-year clinical trial. This was definitely trial by fire, as I had never done anything similar. A week later, I had a meeting with the head of Neuroimmunology/MS to present my work. The meeting, thankfully, went well and I continued my work on the project. This experience showed me how much I’ve learned from all of my late-night study sessions. I was able to anticipate what information would be asked for and not be caught off-guard even though I had almost no idea what I was doing!

David Kim ’16 researches at NIH

By Contributing Writer on December 5, 2015

David Kim '16

David Kim ’16 researched neurovascular interactions in Washington D.C.

This summer, I was provided with the extraordinary opportunity to conduct biomedical research at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, MD. I worked under Professor Mukoyama’s Laboratory of Stem Cell and Vascular Biology in order to understand the neurovascular alignment in obese conditions along with embryonic pericyte development.

The Laboratory of Stem Cell and Vascular Biology focuses on understand the neuro-vascular interactions during embryonic development and in disease conditions. Many of the projects that are being completed focus on imaging techniques, where the researchers try to observe the alignment between nerves and blood vessels along with chemical signals that foster such interactions.

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Alexandra Marrone ’16 Volunteers at the National Institutes of Health

By Contributing Writer on December 4, 2015

Alexandra Marrone '16 conducting lab research at the National Institutes of Health

Alexandra Marrone ’16 conducting lab research at the National Institutes of Health.

This summer I was able to work for the National Institutes of Health. I worked in the NIDDK, or the Institute for Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney diseases. The NIH is located in Bethesda, MD, but I was lucky enough to live in DC for the summer. My lab was looking at the effects of a certain growth factor, TGF-Beta, on different tissues of the body in regards to diabetes and obesity. My work was primarily with neurons, which was unexpected because I had literally no neuroscience background when I entered the lab! I had to do a lot of hard work and reading in order to get a handle on what I was doing, but it has been totally worth it. Just learning about how to learn all the new topics for lab research has been a great skill in itself. I think that is one of my biggest takeaways from this experience. Lab work isn’t about knowing a ton about your topic of research, but having the mind to ask the right questions.