When you have a lab that focuses on breast cancer (amidst others) and has a pink ribbon as lab logo, it is very easy to recruit female members; peruse through our photos and you can certainly see a gender bias. It takes a special man to not only join the lab, but stick with it for three years. James Henry has been, until very recently, the only male in the group spending two summers working alongside three ladies and a female professor. He is a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major graduating in May 2017. He was the first one to start cancer cell culture in the lab and has cultivated some organic synthesis skills as well. In his free time, he plays ice hockey and the piano! He answered my questions as follows:
Q1. Why did you decide to join the Pollock lab?
James: I decided to join the Pollock Lab because of Dr. Pollock’s positive encouragement, passion for science and the ability to complete potentially impactful cancer research as an undergraduate.
Q2. What was your favorite part about your research experience?
James: My favorite aspect of my research experience has been the ability to learn various techniques pertaining to the fields of: biochemistry, chemical biology and organic chemistry, as well as the ability to work with numerous human carcinoma cell lines.
Q3. What do you plan to do after graduation?
James: After graduation, I will be attending medical school. I am still not completely decided but have multiple options. I will either be attending West Virginia or Lake Erie.
Q4. As you reflect back on your time at University of Richmond, what advice would you give to an incoming student who was interested in your career path?
James: Any student, regardless of passion, should put forth their best effort, regardless of interest in a class. You never know when that material will become relevant in you academic or professional career. Also, do not focus solely upon academia, as you will miss out on your premier chance to step outside of your comfort zone; push yourself physically, expose yourself to those with different thoughts/world views, and cement your character, but hold steadfast to your temperaments, talents and convictions. etc.
James- thanks for joining this new professor’s lab and for bringing your humor and enthusiasm. I wish you all the best in medical school; don’t forget about basic science as you move on to treat patients.