The Charger Blog

Rising Sophomore Reflects on Successful DNA Research

Joey Edmonds ’22, a genetics and biotechnology major, dreams of becoming a geneticist, and his experience in the University of New Haven’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program has enabled him to begin conducting his own research.

August 5, 2019

By Joey Edmonds ’22

Image of Joey Edmonds ’22
Joey Edmonds ’22 is conducting his own research.

As a member of the University’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program, I am researching expression levels of different forms of a DNA repair gene called Polymerase Beta. I am running qualitative polymerase chain reaction assays (analysis), which show the difference in the regulation of the gene of interest.

Image of Joey Edmonds ’22
Joey Edmonds ’22

Since I just finished my first year at the University, I don't have a lot of past experience working in a lab or conducting research. SURF has given me the opportunity to learn advanced lab techniques and to practice many different analyses.

In the future, I plan to continue doing research on DNA repair in the lab that I'm currently working in. My SURF mentor – and personal guide for my biological career – Dr. Ali Senejani, and my lab tech, Michelle Gregoire, have been a huge help to me as I complete my project. If I have any questions, whether I can’t find something or I don’t understand the premise of a certain concept, I know I can always ask them to help push me in the right direction.

My project has been incredibly successful, producing very interesting and novel results. In fact, it went so smoothly that I'm able to look at more forms of the DNA repair gene than I initially intended.

"I feel that, in every respect, SURF has been a great experience."Joey Edmonds ’22

I feel that, in every respect, SURF has been a great experience. I have learned so much, I have met many intelligent people, and I have started on my path to realizing my dream of becoming a successful geneticist.

The University of New Haven’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program enables students to develop a proposal for a research project, conduct it while working closely with a faculty member, and present their findings to the campus community.