The University of Texas at Austin
School of Undergraduate Studies
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Sunanda Dharmarajan

Sunanda Dharmarajan
Major: 
Biology

Sunanda’s undergraduate research topic was Discrimination of Organic Acids and Wine Varietals by Arrays of Differential Colorimetric Sensors.

“You can get a basic understanding of biology and chemistry by going to class, but it is not until you engage in research that you truly understand science.”

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Eric V. Anslyn, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Briefly describe your research project.

I worked with three other students in using an array of differential supramolecular sensing ensembles to differentiate various organic acids and wine varietals.

How did you become involved in research?

In sophomore year, I saw a poster for the Supramolecular Sensors Stream at the Undergraduate Research Fair held every spring. I became more interested in this stream’s research from then and a friend who was a mentor in the stream introduced me to the Research Educator of the stream.

What was your favorite part of your research experience?

My favorite part was working with the other students in my group. We had a blast every time we were in lab! I remember when Dr. Anslyn asked us to come in one Saturday to test a bunch of wines at once. Although coming to lab on a Saturday morning is not the most preferred activity, I definitely had a lot of fun working with the other students in the stream.

What surprised you during the research process?

I think what surprised me the most is the amount of knowledge one can gain from doing research. You can get a basic understanding of biology and chemistry by going to class, but it is not until you engage in research that you truly understand science. Science is not just learning and memorizing the material presented in class. It is an on-going creative hands-on experience.

What advice would you give incoming students about getting involved in research?

I would definitely advise incoming students to get involved in research. I feel that it will greatly help them understand their courses better. Through actively engaging in science, one cannot only increase their knowledge tremendously but can also gain a greater appreciation for the subject. Plus, you will feel special about having your own project and contributing to a professor’s on-going project.