Duan’s undergraduate research topics is Assessment of Omega-3 Fatty Acids’ Effect on Attenuating Obesity-induced Cyclooxygenase-2 Activation and Aromatase Expression in Breast Cancer Cells and Adipose Stromal Cells.
“Research has allowed me to meet many great people with valuable knowledge and experience.”
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Linda A. deGraffenried, Nutritional Sciences
How did you initially get involved in research?
My first exposure to research was through the Freshmen Research Initiative (FRI). I performed analytical chemistry research, and I enjoyed the research environment and was learning so much about scientific papers, research, and the scientific community. Because of my growing interest in nutrition, I wanted to join a research lab focused on nutrition. This led me to connect with the deGraffenried laboratory.
Briefly describe your research project.
My research project focuses on how omega-3 fatty acids may be used to improve breast cancer prognosis in obese, postmenopausal women.
What was the most rewarding part of your research experience?
The most rewarding part of my research experience has been how much I feel I have grown mentally. The rigors of academic research have afforded me skills in reading scientific papers, analyzing data, and communicating findings. My mentors in the deGraffenried lab have instilled a sense of confidence in my skills as a researcher and as an individual.
How has participating in research affected your undergraduate experience?
Research reinforced my interest in my academic classes. Being on the cutting edge of what I learn in my classes really propels me to think deeply about what my foundational knowledge built in class can contribute to what I am doing in laboratory. In addition, research has allowed me to meet many great people with valuable knowledge and experience who can help me make decisions from what classes to take to next steps in my career.
What surprised you during the research process?
I usually like to do things perfectly the first time. Research often does not turn out perfectly the first time; this fact has been a learning process for me as I have spent much time in lab troubleshooting assays with the help of my mentors. But through this I have learned to enjoy the process of performing research and many valuable lessons have been learned from my mistakes.
Research Week showcases the exciting work of undergraduates across campus and highlights opportunities for students interested in getting involved. Co-sponsored by the Senate of College Councils and the School of Undergraduate Studies, Research Week takes place April 15-19 this year. Take a look at the online schedule of events to find out more about Research Week events. To celebrate undergraduate research and creative activity, we’re highlighting five profiles of student researchers.