By Leia Rubinstein, Science & Technology Editor
I had the opportunity to ask Chana Liberow (SCW ‘22) some questions about her research.
Leia Rubinstein (LR): Hi Chana, tell me a little bit about yourself.
Chana Liberow (CL): Hi! I’m a graduating senior, majoring in biochemistry. After high school, I spent two years learning in Israel, and I’ve always loved learning!
LR: How did you get involved in this research?
CL: I knew that I wanted to be involved in a hands-on lab, meaning you work on experiments and are not just analyzing data. I had a professor at Stern who was actually finishing up her Ph.D., and I learned a lot about research from her and ended up connecting with the lab that she did her work in during Covid.
LR: Who’s lab do you work in, and what do you study?
CL: It’s a lab at NYU called Ringstad Lab, a neurodevelopment lab. We work with worms and study the development of chemosensory neurons.
LR: What did you hope to gain from this research experience?
CL: I hoped to gain hands-on skills and overall what it means to be in a research environment. I ended up really loving my experience, and it has led me to want to continue doing lab work when I graduate from Stern.
LR: Are there any real-world applications of this research?
CL: This lab is in the basic sciences, which means you are quite a few steps removed from seeing it on the shelves in CVS. But the real-world application is that the worms have the same neurons as humans, so anything we see that happens with the worms will also occur to humans.
LR: What role do you play in this lab?
CL: I was given my own research project, which has been a great opportunity. I’ve done all sorts of experiments and worked with different students and different mentors.
LR: Is there anything you encountered that was especially difficult during the research?
CL: Sometimes it’s really hard when you don’t get the results you want, or you’re just stagnant, and you have to keep repeating an experiment over and over again. This whole process really tests your patience. I was doing the same experiment for the past 6 months, and only by the last month did I start getting frustrated that it wasn’t moving, but ultimately we got results.
LR: Do you have any advice for students who are interested in lab positions?
CL: The most important thing is not to give up. Before I got this lab position, I emailed so many other labs. Most of them ignored me, but some of them didn’t. The key is not to be afraid of not getting a response but reaching out and emailing people. Find a lab that you would be interested in working in, introduce yourself, say that you read about their research, show you care, and explain why you think you will be a valuable asset to the lab. Just keep pushing, and eventually, you will get something!
LR: Thank you so much, Chana! This was all so interesting.
CL: Awesome, happy to hear.