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Biochemistry Student Conducted Research at Harvard University

Katelyn Comeau feature

Katelyn Comeau, C'19

Katelyn Comeau, a senior biochemistry major, walked away from neurobiology research that she conducted at Harvard University this summer with an unforgettable experience and knowledge to apply to her final year at the Mount.

Comeau broke down what it was like to learn in the neurobiology lab of David Ginty, Ph.D., C'84 at the Howard Hughes Medical Facility. Ginty is the Edward R. and Anne G. Lefler Professor of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School. Comeau assisted Shan Meltzer, Ph.D., a postdoctoral  fellow, with projects surrounding the growth and development of the neurons that are responsible for sensing information about various kinds of light touch sensations we experience.

“I got to dig deeply into some of the most interesting and revolutionary neurobiology topics being explored in the lab, including some incredible work in curing autism and eradicating the opioid epidemic,” Comeau explained. "What I really loved about being a part of Dr. Ginty’s lab was the chance to be exposed to the most cutting-edge technology and methods in neuroscience."

Comeau typically began her day in the lab by observing and genotyping mice for experiments. This was a crucial part of her work because every experiment conducted required determination of the genes of each mouse. In addition, Comeau was responsible for various other daily lab duties including the preparation of chemicals for staining samples, collecting samples for RNA analysis, performing some small-scale dissections and other lab-related tasks.

Through her research at Harvard, Comeau discovered opportunities to apply her experiential learning into the coursework at Mount St. Mary’s. “I found that it is harder and far more rewarding to make those connections, ask lots of questions, and develop a mindset that is curious about learning,” Comeau said.

Research and internship opportunities are a fundamental way to experience and understand the possibilities that await after graduation. Comeau urged Mount students to speak with their advisors about these opportunities and suggested that now is an awesome time to begin applying for research opportunities.