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McDaniel Biochemistry-Chemistry majors conduct research at Yale

Junior Triet Bui and senior Mary Yates.
August 26, 2014

Senior Mary Yates and junior Triet Bui spent the summer doing research at Yale University – and came back to campus more convinced than ever that graduate school and laboratories were in their futures.

The students, each with a double major in Biochemistry and Chemistry, landed at Yale through separate programs. Mary, from Phoenix, Md., was a research fellow with the Sackler/National Science Foundation Research Experience University and Triet, from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, was an intern in the Discovery to Cure program at Yale’s School of Medicine.

For them, the summer was all about conducting research at one of the leading universities and top laboratory facilities in the world. The topics – stem-cell differentiation for Mary and the role of a specific protein in pregnancy complications for Triet – were interesting and certainly cutting edge, but they found the experience and mentoring by top researchers to be invaluable.

“It was a great learning experience,” says Mary, who also wanted to see if she enjoyed conducting research as much away from her home base in Eaton Hall. “I worked with a group of amazing people who were so supportive of me. In fact, the entire lab showed up for my presentation.”

On top of all she learned, Mary says she found in Yale the graduate school she wants to attend to pursue a Ph.D. and ultimately conduct research in drug synthesis. Her project “Altering tension in human embryonic stem cells to increase differentiation” was designed by Yale graduate student Katie Rosowski and her research was conducted in the molecular, cellular and developmental biology lab.

Triet, who will continue his research next summer at Yale, also plans to pursue a Ph.D. but will combine it with an M.D.

“I have a strong desire to treat today’s patients as a physician, and tomorrow’s patients as a scientist,” he says, explaining that his experience at Yale moved him closer to his goal of designing anti-cancer drugs, especially ones that thwart metastasis.

“I have always attempted to be at the crossroads of medicine and science but it wasn’t until my research internship on reproductive immunology at Yale that I experienced such a realistic sense of a scientist.”