HomepageBiologyHonors Spotlight Star: Shira Levin

Honors Spotlight Star: Shira Levin

Shira Levin (’21) participates in Dr. Lyczak’s lab researching the role of specific genes in the development of the C. elegan cytoskeleton. 
  1. Whose lab are you in?
    • Dr. Lyczak’s C. elegans developmental Biology lab
  2. What is the title of your research?
    • Phenotypic Observations of Cytoskeletal Genes in C. elegans Compared to pam-1 Mutants
  3. Give a brief summary of your research. 
    • I use RNAi (RNA interference) on three different genes (pfn-1, cyk-1, and zen-4) to test for three different phenotypes (blebbing, pseudocleavage, and symmetric division) that affect the cytoskeleton of C. elegans worms. The defects that arise are compared to control worms (wildtype and pam-1), which can then be used to learn about what purpose each gene serves in the development of the cytoskeleton.
  4. What was your motive for joining a research lab?
    • My motive for joining the research lab was to learn something new. I had always wanted to be a part of a biology lab, and this lab caught my eye. Learning about developmental biology and combining genetics and other biology into the research has been really rewarding. I have also met so many new people and I am really sad to be thinking about leaving soon!
  5. How has participating in research affected your college experience?
    • Participating in research has really broadened my college experience. Being is research has allowed me to apply a lot of the biology courses I have taken into hands on experiences in the lab. I feel so rewarded after completing parts of my project. I also have met so many amazing and talented people.
  6. What has been the highlight of your research?
    • The highlight of my research has always been putting together my results. I love having that lightbulb moment of knowing what my results mean and how their purpose functions in a larger sense.
  7. Any words of wisdom for prospective student researchers?
    • My words of wisdom are to join a research lab!! Read different descriptions and find one that sparks any interest. We have so many different options on campus within the Biology department and even other departments across campus. There is so much to love about doing research and it is really rewarding in the end.
  8. Are there any fellow researchers or mentors you would like to thank?
    • I would like to thank Eva Jaeger and Dr. Lyzcak for always helping out and being there to answer any questions. I would also like to thank my wonderful lab team, Rei Lopez and Annalise Koup! They work hard and are super flexible in the lab. I would lastly like to thank Zoe Tesone for always being my research buddy!

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