Friday, March 17, 2017

Dina AlSharif: In the Lab from Freshman to Senior Year

Dina AlSharif (Class of 2018) has been conducting research for several years in the biology department.

Dina in the lab
My name is Dina AlSharif and I am a Verrazano Honors Student with a major in Biology and minors in Biochemistry and Chemistry. During the first semester of my freshman year, my biology professor was telling the class about conducting research as an undergrad and how it would help give us a deeper meaning of biology. Being interested in the sciences, especially biology, I chose to do research on breast and cervical cancer. The topic seized my attention since it is a big issue most women are affected by worldwide.

My research project was testing two anti-cancerous drugs Resveratrol and Pterostilbene on cervical cancer cells called HeLa and analyzing the level of the tumor suppressor protein p53. P53 is gene that codes for a protein that is responsible for regulating the cell cycle and suppresses cancer. After many trials, data obtained supports my hypothesis that the level of p53 increases upon treatment of both drugs. Obtaining data that sounds promising gives me a sense of achievement. I was very excited to be awarded the undergraduate research award and to present my findings at the undergraduate research conference last spring. 
Presenting at the Undergraduate Research Conference

Research is not just doing lab work; it is a passion. I have learned so many lab techniques, how to approach a problem from a scientific manner, and made new connections with colleagues that share the same passion. I am thankful for Professor Fata for allowing me to be a part of his research team. I encourage every student to conduct research in their field of interest as it will broaden their horizons and make them a well-rounded individual.

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