On May 28, the Nebraska Institutional Development Award Program (IDeA) Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) program welcomed 29 undergraduate students from across Nebraska as they embark on their summer research experience at Creighton University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and UNMC.
Sydney Keckler, a molecular biology major at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, talks about her INBRE experience:
Who is Sydney Keckler?
"I am a junior at University of Nebraska Kearney. I'm pursuing a molecular biology degree with plans to attend medical school and specialize in oncology after graduation. I've been working in biomedical research labs for the past two years, and I'm also a tutor for anatomy and physiology at UNK."
Has science always been a part of your life?
"My mother was a Physician's Assistant so even as a child, the medical field always interested me. I knew that I wanted to be a doctor ever since I was in middle school. My interest in oncology came a bit later, in high school, when I wrote my first research paper on gene therapy in cancer treatment."
How is it important to you?
"I have always been fascinated with the way things work, especially in living systems and the human body. In science, there is always an opportunity to learn more, to know more. Because of this, science needs more individuals with an insatiable desire to learn."
Why did you choose to participate in the INBRE program?
"I have a specific interest of going through a MD/PhD program after my undergraduate studies. These programs are highly competitive and admission relies heavily on research experience and knowledge. INBRE is a great way to gain exposure to excellent research projects and to learn from highly trained individuals."
What do you hope to gain from the program?
"The experiences and leadership I receive from my mentor at UNMC will help me grow as a researcher and as an intellectual. I will be more efficient and productive in my lab back at UNK and this will hopefully lead to some amazing findings and breakthroughs. I'll be more prepared for graduate studies as I move on from undergraduate work."