Stephanie Qu

Stephanie Qu in the lab

Participating in GLBRC’s summer research program was a great and valuable experience. As a rising sophomore majoring in biology, a full-time research internship like this helped to narrow down my research interest, expand my network, and learn about various career paths. 

I worked in Dr. Rob Last’s lab with my mentor Xingxing on variation in switchgrass metabolite profiles. I learned a lot about bioenergy and plant biochemistry. The lab was such a welcoming, supportive environment, where everyone is interested in each others’ progress and development. Xingxing was a great resource and guided me throughout the entire process, answering questions and making sure I left with a better foundation for a career in research than I had arrived with. 

We had access to lots of professional development opportunities, including career workshops that introduced us to professionals in various fields of biology, science communication workshops, GRE and graduate student panels, and a visit to the Kellogg Biological Station.

Outside of work, I got to know lots of people from all sorts of backgrounds and the others in my cohort were so fun and friendly. We would have dinner together at MSU’s dining halls on weekdays and go out on weekends. We went swimming in lakes, shopping, and explored Lansing’s amazing food scene. They are friends that are passionate, inspiring, and with whom I hope to stay connected to as we move forward.

GLBRC’s program was a lovely yet productive way to spend my summer and I would recommend it to any students looking at a future in research, especially if they are interested in plant biology and getting involved in green energy.

Read more GLBRC Summer REU blogs here.