Research at UNK is not only beneficial for the data that is compiled; it also allows students a chance to be part of something they might not otherwise be able to experience. Biology senior Amanda Calleroz has worked with Dr. Carlson’s patented gene, OTK18, to gain information which could lead to gene therapy for the HIV virus (and other diseases) in the future. The results of her study will provide information on the regulation of OTK18 on immunity genes and allow insight into a homeostatic function of this molecule.
If this information seems overwhelming, think about being an undergrauate student knee-deep in scientific research. Though the research may be complicated and, at times, difficult, Calleroz said she appreciates the opportunities at UNK. “I feel I have gained research experience that may not have been offered elsewhere or at a larger institution.”Students at UNK know their professors are willing to mentor them through not only research, but classes as well. “I will be attending medical school in the fall, and through my participation in research, I know essential information that others may not have had the opportunity to experience.
Research is imperative toward understanding science as a whole, and I feel I have gained an abundance of critical thinking skills.” Calleroz said she is grateful that UNK understands the importance of student research and allows students plenty of opportunities to participate. “I feel research is a priority at UNK, especially in the sciences.” She emphasizes that students aren’t left alone to struggle through their tough research. “To assist in the process, numerous faculty members are willing to mentor students through research projects.”