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Anduena Toci

Anduena was a part of the LAB Jumpstart and SSRP'23 cohort, where she expanded her understanding of wet lab research. Here, she talks more about how her research experience impacted her!

Anduena, a freshman in college from Queens, NY, joined the LAB Jumpstart program hoping to get hands-on wet lab experience. Through her time in Jumpstart and then SSRP, she was able to broaden her interests, and now is considering how research can be a major part of her future career!

Anduena in the lab with her fellow SSRP members.

What were you hoping to gain from the SSRP program?

“Before I started in the SSRP, I hoped I could gain an introduction to scientific research in a laboratory context. JumpStart and SSRP were the first experiences I had conducting wet lab experiments. In addition, I hoped to gain mentorship from scientists who would push my boundaries and believe in my skills and me.”

How has your participation in the program impacted your interest in science/research?

“Before Jumpstart and SSRP, I had a deep interest in pursuing a medical career. However, after joining these programs, I started to explore what research is and means. Now I am even more interested in research and considering to pursue an MD-PhD joint degree in the future.”

How did the SSRP impact your personal growth?

“SSRP helped me to try my best at the new techniques I was learning to perform and then help others learn these methods as well. This helped me develop resilience and a growth mindset as I was constantly improving every time I was performing techniques, such as protein purification or gel electrophoresis. ”

Anduena at the American Museum of Natural History for one of our two poster sessions.

What advice would you give to incoming SSRP students to help them make the most of their time?

“Take your time to adjust in a new environment, which can feel very fast-paced at first, and gradually show your interests and skills as you are developing new ones. Don’t be afraid to be you and build strong connections with your peers and mentors who will always be there for you.”

Be open minded and resilient with the scientific process and any experiments you will be conducting. Try your best to improve yourself and your skills.

Favorite Memory from SSRP?

“My favorite memory from SSRP was when we presented our posters at the Rockefeller University and later on at the American Museum of Natural History. It was a moment of feeling happy that you were now presenting a poster on a research project you had spent many hours preparing. At the same time, you got to be a part of a bigger celebration as you are presenting amongst your peers, who supported you and had worked together for a long time.”

Anduena was a part of the Protein Pioneers track. Her project focused on the significance of salt bridges and hydrogen bonds in ERK1 protein stability. 

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