Superfund Research Program
This past summer, Tomi Jun worked full-time as a research assistant under Mary Guerinot, Ph.D., in the plant molecular biology lab at Dartmouth College. Tomi had the opportunity to practice all the skills and techniques he developed while doing his undergraduate honors thesis, such as DNA extraction, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and gel electrophoresis. Working in the lab full time also gave him the opportunity to learn and practice techniques that he was not as familiar with, such as western blotting.
Tomi says that this opportunity allowed him to continue his honors thesis work on identifying genes involved in the iron homeostasis mechanism of Arabidopsis thaliana. Specifically, his thesis focused on mapping and characterizing a mutant dubbed fun for its iron (Fe)-unresponsive phenotype. By the end of the summer, he had tentatively identified the gene in question. This was a major milestone in the project, as the identity of the gene opens up many new avenues of investigation.
Tomi hopes to integrate research and practice in his future career. This summer opportunity gave him the flexibility to complete his medical school applications, while also helping him to develop research skills that will be relevant through medical school and beyond.