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Lisa Cole '10

Major: Biomedical engineering
Company: Northwestern University
Title: Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Field of Work: Science/Research

What do you do?

I am currently working as a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Dr. Chad Mirkin at Northwestern University. We are interested in using nanotechnology platforms as novel diagnostics or therapeutics in many different diseases. More specifically, I am studying how we can use a nucleic acid-based nanoparticle to modulate the immune system as a cancer therapeutic.

How did you become interested in your field?

I became interested in research after completing a summer undergraduate research position. I like thinking and answering scientific questions.

What, if any, additional education (degree, discipline, institution) have you earned?

PhD in bioengineering.

What skills are vital for success in your field?

Many laboratory skills are important to be a successful researcher, but most of these skills are also learned while working in the lab. Other skills that are very important include critical thinking skills, being able to communicate with both scientists and non-scientists in writing, presentations and speaking, and organization.

What experiences, internships, study, or previous jobs helped you get to your current position?

I worked as an undergraduate researcher while at UR, which helped me get accepted into my PhD program.

What advice do you have for current students interested in your field?

Do research in many different types of labs. Try to figure out what motivates you and find labs that are working in that area. Do research at other universities during the summer months as a way to network and expose yourself to a wide range of scientific areas.