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laura long imageI am a Researcher

Laura Long

Major: General biology

College: Sixth

UC San Diego graduation year: 2022

Current graduate program: BS/MS, biological sciences, UC San Diego

URH research programs: Ahmadian Fellowship (SRP 2022)

The Ahmadian Fellowship is UC San Diego Health Sciences program that has recently participated in the URH Summer Research Program.

Research: As an undergraduate, I researched the contribution of actin reorganization in vesicle translocation. In particular, I researched the protein formin 2's relationship with basal and insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in skeletal muscle. This work was supported by my time as Ahmadian Fellow during the summer of 2022.

Currently, I am in the master's phase if of the [School of] Biological Sciences B.S./M.S. program, and the focus of my research is on the contribution of the lysine acetyltransferase, p300 and CBP, to the enhanced skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity after brief caloric restriction in mice.

Why and how did you decide to get involved in undergraduate research? My lifelong involvement in sports has played a significant role in shaping my interest in the field of human physiology and metabolic biochemistry. As part of this, and through the classes I had been taking (and still take) at UCSD, I developed a strong interest in research that was focused on exercise and/or metabolic health. I found Dr. Schenk's Lab through the recommendation of another professor, who I was fortunate to meet with after emailing them about my interests in conducting research related to human health and exercise.

What has been the most exciting/interesting thing you've discovered through your research? I have been fortunate enough to be involved in several different projects in the Schenk lab. While it is hard to identify the most exciting thing, I recently completed a preliminary study for my master's project on the role of p300 and CBP in caloric restriction-mediated enhancement of skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity. This was very exciting to me as it was my first experience running a complete study from start to finish, including the design and execution of the study. This was exciting to me because it reinforced my excitement for research and demonstrated to myself that my hard work has paid off in terms of having the confidence and patience to oversee and run a complicated research study.

What advice would you give to students starting research? For students currently seeking opportunities in labs on campus, I recommend first searching for published research from labs at the university that sparks your interest. Then, I would reach out to the authors on that paper, perhaps starting with the lab PI, with any questions that you have from the paper, as a thoughtful means of initiating contact.