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Evolutionary Research

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by MrSosa, Mar 25, 2004.

  1. MrSosa

    MrSosa Member
    7+ Year Member

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    Hey people,

    I'm a sophmore and haven't done any research yet. I plan doing research for the next 2 years starting next fall. I'll also be getting my first taste of it this summer at NIH, I've been accepted into their SIP. My problem is that I'm a bit wary of picking a lab here at home becuz no matter how many people I speak to, I can't get over the fact that I probably won't know what I'm getting myself into until I get myself into it. I'm not worried about not liking research, I just get confused about what kind of research I should be doing along this MSTP(hopefully) path.

    I'm double majoring in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology and Anthropology, so I'm into evolution and all that. I was basically offered a spot in a lab that does that kind of work. Specifically, this is what they do: "Our research concerns the evolution of primate genes and genomes, and focuses on the molecular basis for adaptive evolution. We combine bioinformatic and experimental molecular approaches. Current projects include: (1) the molecular phylogeny of the Old World monkeys; (2) adaptive co-evolution between the proteins involved in oxidative phosphorylation; (3) genetic changes unique to the human lineage; and (4) proteins involved in primate spermatogenesis and fertilization." They also work under a grant from NHGRI.

    So, as far as MSTPs go, how would that look for me? Is the improtant thing really just that I do any research? I was originally gonna try to do some more obviously health-related research, but since I get to combine my majors with this work, it's attractive to me.

    I'm asking becuz when I apply next year, this is all the research I will probably have done, besides the NIH thing. I'm kinda looking for some encouragement to do this, but I want to do work that shows I'm serious about health-related research, so please be frank. What can you MSTPers out there tell me about this?

    I didn't mean for this to get so long, but thank you for any insight and advice anyone can give.
     
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  3. coldchemist

    coldchemist Biowulf
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    Get involved with research at your school as soon as you get back to the NIH. The kind of research you describe will look good to MSTP's as it applies to how organisms adapt today just as well as in the past. You probably do need additional experience, though, so get on it!
     
  4. Habari

    Habari Senior Member
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    i did molecular/computational evolution research as an undergrad [summers i did neuroscience @ merck] - using bayesian inference to reconstruct phylogenies in various contexts [mostly esoteric stuff that had nothing to do with health/disease - though i wrote a goldwater essay on how it applied to viral pathogenesis]. my interviewers at all the schools i visited were interested in the topic, even if they didn't know much about it - made for some interesting conversations. as long as you can explain the logic/advantages/shortcomings of your work and think about it can apply to other contexts, any sort of research will suffice. it didn't hurt at all in the process - probably helped.
     

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