Next up in line of the graduating seniors of the Pollock lab is BMB major Kiana Gunn. Kiana joined my lab the summer after her first year at University of Richmond as a part of her participation the SMART integrated science course. She came with outstanding recommendations with my colleagues who had seen her excel in the classroom. Kiana jumped right in to a lung cancer project that James Henry was also working on. She is one of the most meticulous scientists I have met, which at the start of her time in the research lab meant her experimental set-up was long. I think she truly understands the sentiment that the cell culture room can make time disappear so fast. Kiana has grown so much as a scientist, she is still detail oriented but I have seen her confidence grown in her abilities. As I highlighted a few weeks ago, Kiana is also one of the kindest, most positive, uplifting people you will ever meet. She has popped around to a couple of different projects in the lab, trying her hand at organic synthesis as well, and she has never been unwilling to try something new. Eventually Kiana plans to go to graduate school and become a cancer researcher. For now, she is thinking she might teach. I could see her inspiring the next generation of scientists with her enthusiasm, knowledge, and sweet spirit. Let’s see what Kiana has to say about her research experience:

Q1. Why did you decide to join the Pollock lab?

Kiana: I decided to join the Pollock Lab because I was very interested in pursuing cancer research throughout my undergraduate experience.

Q2. What was your favorite part about your research experience?

Kiana: I have many favorite things about doing research in the Pollock Lab!! I loved learning all the biochemistry and synthetic chemistry techniques and presenting my research at SERMACs conferences; those experiences cemented my love for science! I also loved growing into a family with the other Pollock Lab students; the holiday parties were so much fun!!

Q3. What do you plan to do after graduation?

Kiana: I plan to work as either a lab technician or a teaching fellow.

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?

Kiana: My advice for incoming students is to be patient! Some aspects of research can be difficult to grasp, but if you ask questions and remain curious, it can be a worthwhile experience. 

 

Kiana – You have been a pleasure to work with over the past three years. Thank you for trying lots of new techniques and always being positive. I know that you will be successful in whatever you do and I am excited to how your journey progresses. Stay in touch. Keep believing in yourself. I am rooting for you always!

~jap

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